Stock exchanges play an important role in a country’s economic growth and stability. A stock exchange is a platform offering the sale and purchase (trading) of securities that an investor can convert into cash. Stock exchanges also help companies to raise capital through investors.
In the beginning, the outcry method was used by the stock exchanges for trading. Later on, the majority of the stock exchanges adopted the electronic trading method. In 1602, the Dutch East India Company officially became the first listed company on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
Stock exchanges have evolved at a great pace since their establishment. They have helped both investors and companies to grow. Here is the list of the top 10 oldest stock exchanges in the world.
10. Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE):
Established on: 9 July 1875
Owned by: BSE Ltd
Market Cap: ₹255.003 trillion (October 2021)
Founded by the cotton merchant Premchand Roychand in 1875, the BSE is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. It is located on Dalal Street in Mumbai and is the 9th largest stock exchange in the world.
Before the establishment of BSE, the brokes were used to gather under the banyan tree for trading. As the number of brokers kept on increasing they had to change places repeatedly. At last, in 1874 they found their permanent location.
The first company to list on BSE was the D.S. Prabhudas & Company (now known as DSP, and a joint venture partner with Merrill Lynch). And now, there are more than 5,000 listed companies. It is the largest exchange in India among the 23 other exchanges.
The BSE was the first exchange to be recognized by the Indian Government under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act in 1957. It also partnered with United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange initiative in 2012. BSE is Asia’s first and the Fastest Stock Exchange in the world with a speed of 6 microseconds. BSE became the first stock exchange in the world to introduce a centralized internet trading system (BSEWEBx.co.in), allowing investors from all over the world to trade on the BSE platform.
9. Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX):
Established on: 25 October 1861
Owned by: TMX Group
Market Cap: $3.3 trillion (October 2021)
Toronto Stock Exchange located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is the 9th oldest and 11th largest stock exchange in the world. It is also the third oldest stock exchange in North America after the Philadelphia and New York stock exchanges.
It is said that the TSX was formed by the group of Toronto businessmen known as the “Association of Brokers” on 26 July 1852. On 25th October 1861, twenty-four brokers came together to participate and create Toronto Stock Exchange. Initially, TSX had only 13 listings. Now, it has more than 2000 listings.
Now, TMX is the largest stock exchange in Canada and has the highest number of oil and minings companies listed compared to any other stock exchange in the world. It is also hosting the top 5 commercial banks of Canada. In 1977, TSX also invented the CATS (Computer Assisted Trading System) trading system that allowed the full automation of the price-setting process in a stock exchange. The CATS was adopted by many other stock exchanges and replaced the outcry method.
8. Madrid Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Madrid):
Established in: 1831
Owned by: BME
Bolsa de Madrid is the oldest and largest stock exchange in Spain. It is the major stock exchange amongst the other three (Barcelona, Valencia, and Bilbao) stock exchanges. All the four stock exchanges are owned by Bolsas y Mercados Españoles.
The first attempt to establish the Madrid Stock Exchange was made by Jose I Bonaparte in 1809 but failed as Madrid was not the major trade center. Bolsa de Madrid was founded in 1831, under the laws of the Kingdom of Spain. It was founded by King Fernando VII. Initially, securities of banks, railways, iron, and steel companies were traded in Madrid Stock Exchange. In 1993, the exchange switched to all-electronic trading for fixed-income securities.
7. Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Börse Frankfurt):
Established in: 1808
Owned by: Deutsche Börse, Börse and Frankfurt Zertifikate AG
Market Cap: $2.5 trillion
Frankfurt Stock Exchange located in Germany is the twelfth largest stock exchange in the world considering market capitalization. It is owned by Deutsche Börse, Börse and Frankfurt Zertifikate AG.
The exact founding date of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is not clear. However, it is known that the foundation of this exchange dates back to 1585 when the merchants met to establish uniform exchange rates to counter the deterioration of coinage. And in 1808, the institution which was privately operated by merchants was brought under the Chamber of Commerce making it a public institution. In 1820, the first common share (a participating certificate of the Austrian National Bank) was traded.
Frankfurt Stock Exchange is the biggest stock exchange in Germany among the other 7 exchanges. It is also one of the world’s largest trading centers for securities.
6. Milan Stock Exchange (Borsa Italiana):
Established in: 1808
Owned by: Euronext
Market Cap: 49.2 billion euros.
Also known as “Piazza Affari” the Milan Stock Exchange is located in Milan, Italy. It is owned by Euronext and is a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange. It is also one of the oldest stock exchanges in the world founded in 1808.
Borsa Italiana was founded by Eugène de Beauharnais, viceroy of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1808. It was operated under public ownership until its privatization in 1998. The first share was listed on Borsa Italiana in 1859. Initially, many small-scale manufacturing companies were unable to list on the exchange. Between 1895 to 1900 the number of stocks listed in Milan grew from 23 to 54. In 1994, electronic stock trading was replaced by the traditional method.
The fun fact is that the statue in front of the building of Borsa Italiana is controversial. The middle finger marble statue was created by artist Maurizio Cattelan in 2010. The statue titled L.O.V.E., which stands for Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity) and was supposed to stay for only a few days but the government decided to keep it indefinitely.
5. London Stock Exchange (LSE):
Established on: 30 December 1801
Owned by: London Stock Exchange Group
Market Cap: $3.8 Trillion
London Stock Exchange is the 5th oldest stock exchange in the world. It is the biggest stock exchange in Europe in terms of market capitalization. It is owned by the London Stock Exchange Group.
The history of LSE dates back to 1571 when the Royal Exchange was opened by Elizabeth l. During the 17th century, brokers were not allowed to enter the Royal Exchange. They had to operate from the cafe named ‘Jonathan’s Coffee-House‘ and later in Garraway’s coffee house.
In 1669, when the Gresham’s Royal Exchange building was rebuilt it hosted brokers and merchants altogether. But, the rules and regulations imposed by the parliament led the brokers to leave. This led to the formation of the Stock Exchange in 1773 by 150 brokers in Sweeting’s Alley. On 30 December 1801, the new building of the London Stock Exchange was opened.
In 1986, LSE introduced the ‘Big Bang’ the deregulation of exchange by computerizing all exchanging methods. LSE was also the biggest exchange until First World War. The exchange played a vital role in aiding World War l.
4. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE):
Established on: 17 May 1792
Owned by: Intercontinental Exchange
Market Cap: US$26.2 trillion
New York Stock Exchange also known as “The Big Board” is the largest stock exchange in the world with a market capitalization of US$26.2 trillion. It is the fourth-oldest stock exchange in the world and is now owned by Intercontinental Exchange. Though it is the largest, it faces tough competition from another stock exchange of New York known as NASDAQ.
The origin of NSE dates back to 1792 when 24 brokers came together and signed the Buttonwood Agreement. Initially, only government securities were traded. In 1817, delegations were sent to Philadelphia to observe and implement the trading methods this led to modernizing of NSE. Before the acquisition of the present location, the securities trading took place in several different locations. The Bank of North America, along with the First Bank of the United States and the Bank of New York, was the first shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 2007, NYSE adopted the electronic trading method. NYSE has seen an all-time low which is called Black Tuesday and Black Thursday. And, it has also seen an all-time high when DJIA hits 18,873.6 in 2016.
3. Philadelphia Stock Exchange:
Established in: 1790
Owned by: Nasdaq Inc.
Philadelphia Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in the U.S. It was the largest stock exchange in the U.S. of its time.
The Philadelphia Stock Exchange was formed in 1790 by some bunch of brokers initially known as “Board of Brokers”. It was founded in the Merchant’s Coffee House. The exchange changed its location several times before settling in its current location.
In 1949, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange merged with Baltimore Stock Exchange and was named as Philadelphia-Baltimore Stock Exchange. Then in 1954, it again merged with Washington Stock Exchange which was known as Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington Stock Exchange often abbreviated as PBW stock exchange.
It was one of the first exchanges to adopt an electronic trading system. In 2008, NASDAQ acquired PHLX for $652 million.
2. Paris Stock Exchange (Euronext Paris):
Established in: 1724
Owned by: Euronext
Market Cap: $3,482 trillion
Paris Stock Exchange now known as Euronext Paris is owned by the Euronext group and is part of the Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Brussels stock exchanges. It is now the second-largest stock exchange in Europe after LSE.
The foundation of Paris Bourse dates back to 1572 when King Charles IX gave permission for exchanging money. Many Kings, Dukes, and Princesses held the practice of coining their own money. The investment scandal in 1724 led to the formation of the official Paris Bourse. In the 19th century, Napolean moved the Bourse to Royal Palace, and in 1826 the new building was inaugurated and became the permanent home for Paris Stock Exchange. In 1929, due to the Great Depression (the world economy was struggling), the exchange faced a huge impact and was in a long-troubled period.
In the mid-1980 the exchange adopted the computerized trading method called CAC. In 2000 the Paris Stock Exchange was merged with Euronext group.
1. Amsterdam Stock Exchange:
Established in: 1602
Owned by: Euronext
Market Cap: $728.49 Billion
Amsterdam Stock Exchange is the world’s first and oldest stock exchange formed in 1602 located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is now a part of the Euronext group and the most ancient stock exchange in history which is still functioning.
Before the formation of AEX, in 1493 the traders were used to gather near a harbor in the Warmoesstraat. The traders changed places until they found their permanent location in 1611. In 1592, the city’s council passed the first trading law to regulate the trading. And in 1602 with the incorporation of the Dutch East India Company (the VOC) the Amsterdam Stock Exchange was formed.
In August 1602, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) held’s its first ‘Initial Public Offering’ (IPO) and became the world’s first traded share. Amsterdam Stock Exchange broker founded the world’s first investment fund in 1774.
The AEX was ahead of its time. It was the first exchange to broadcast share prices through radio all over the country. In 2000, the AEX merged with Brussels Stock Exchange and the Paris Stock Exchange to form Euronext Amsterdam.