Oldest Stock Exchanges in the World

10 Oldest Stock Exchanges in the World

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The history of stock exchanges is murky as commodities exchanges have existed for as long as anyone can remember. However, generally the first modern stock exchanges emerged sometime in the 17th and 18th centuries. A few of the oldest existing stock exchanges date back to this time and the others on this list are from the 19th century. Stock exchanges are still an integral part of the world’s economy and the stock exchanges on this list are still going strong after several centuries.

As of August 2020, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Bombay Stock Exchange

Year Established: 1875
Current Owner:  BSE Ltd
No. of Listings: 5,439

Bombay Stock Exchangephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Established in 1875, the Bombay Stock Exchange or BSE is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. The stock exchange was founded by Premchand Roychand, one of the most influential businessmen in the 19th century. Before a formal stock exchange was formed, stock brokers would meet under the Banyan tree in front of Mumbai Town Hall in the 1850s and 1860s.

In 1975, the Bombay Stock Exchange became the first stock exchange to be recognized by the Indian Government under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act. Since 2012, the Bombay Stock Exchange has been a Partner Exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange initiative.

Did You Know?

Bombay Stock Exchange is the first stock exchange in the world to introduce centralized internet trading system (BSEWEBx.co.in), allowing investors from all over the world to trade on the BSE platform.


9. Toronto Stock Exchange

Year Established: 1861
Current Owner:  TMX Group
No. of Listings: 2,231

Toronto Stock Exchangephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1852, a group of Toronto businessmen formed the “Association of Brokers” and began the process of establishing a stock exchange in the city. The Toronto Stock Exchange wasn’t officially established until 1861 after a formal resolution was passed at Toronto’s Masonic Hall. The exchange is the oldest in Canada and the third oldest in North America after the Philadelphia and New York stock exchanges.

After its founding the 19th century, the Toronto Stock Exchange grew into one of the largest in the world. Currently, the Toronto Stock Exchange is the 9th largest in the world by market capitalization.

Did You Know?

In 1977, the Toronto Stock Exchange became the first stock exchange to introduce computer-assisted trading.


8. Madrid Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Madrid)

Year Established: 1831
Current Owner:  Bolsas y Mercados Españoles
No. of Listings: Unspecified

Madrid Stock Exchangephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

The Madrid Stock Exchange or Bolsa de Madrid is the oldest existing stock exchange in Spain. It was founded in 1831 by King Fernando VII and the first trading session took place in late October. The first stocks were from banks, railways, steel companies. Bolsa de Madrid is the largest nd most international of Spain’s four regional stock exchanges (the others are located in Barcelona, Valencia, and Bilbao). The Madrid Stock Exchange is owned and operated by Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, which also owns Spain’s other three regional stock exchanges.

Did You Know?

In 2018, the Palacio de la Bolsa de Madrid (Madrid Stock Exchange building), which was inaugurated in 1893 by Queen Regent María Cristina, celebrated its 125th anniversary.


7. Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Börse Frankfurt)

Year Established: 1808
Current Owner:  Deutsche Börse AG and Börse Frankfurt Zertifikate AG
No. of Listings: Unspecified

Frankfurt Stock Exchangephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

According to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, 1585 is cited as the exchange’s founding date. However, this was not technically a stock exchange in the modern sense, like Amsterdam’s stock exchange. That year, Frankfurt’s merchants came together to establish uniform exchange rates to counter the deterioration of coinage. Frankfurt’s Chamber of Commerce did not establish a formal stock exchange until 1808, which turned the stock-exchange into a public-sector institution.

The first common share – a participating certificate of the Austrian National Bank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank) – was traded in 1820 (some sources cite 1820 as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange’s founding date because of this). Currently, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is owned by Deutsche Börse AG and Börse Frankfurt Zertifikate AG and is the world’s 10th largest stock exchange by market capitalization.

Did You Know?

The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is the largest of the seven regional securities exchanges in Germany.


6. Milan Stock Exchange (Borsa Italiana)

Year Established: 1808
Current Owner:  London Stock Exchange Group
No. of Listings: 353

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Milan Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, is Italy’s oldest and only stock exchange. It was established in 1808 as a commodities exchange by Eugène de Beauharnais, viceroy of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. A complete set of regulations for the exchange was published by decree of the Viceroy in March 1810. For nearly the next two centuries, Borsa Italiana was a public entity before it was privatized in 1998. A year before that, all of Italy’s stock exchanges were merged together, leaving Borsa Italiana as the country’s sole exchange. In 2007, Borsa Italiana was merged with the London Stock Exchange in an all-share takeover and is now part of the London Stock Exchange Group.

Did You Know?

In 2010, artist Maurizio Cattelan, created a giant statue of a hand with its middle finger sticking up and put it up in front of the Borsa Italiana building. The statue titled L.O.V.E., which stands for Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity) was only supposed to stay for a few weeks, but has been left in front of the stock exchange indefinitely.


5. London Stock Exchange

Year Established: 1801
Current Owner:  London Stock Exchange Group
No. of Listings: 2,483

London Stock Exchangephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

The modern and formal London Stock Exchange was formed in 1801, but a stock exchange in London goes much further back. The Royal Exchange was started in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I, but this trading system was unregulated. Over the next few centuries, more rules and operations were put in place until the first regulated exchange was established in 1801. Even then, the rules were not heavily enforced until the London Stock Exchange’s first rule book was released in 1812. Today, the London Stock Exchange is one of the largest exchanges in the world.

Did You Know?

As such a powerful and visible entity, the London Stock Exchange has been the site of several incidents, including a bombing in 1990, the Occupy London protest, and most recently the Extinction Rebellion protest.


4. New York Stock Exchange

Year Established: 1792
Current Owner:  Intercontinental Exchange
No. of Listings: 2,400

New York Stock Exchangephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

While it isn’t the oldest stock exchange, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has into one of the largest and most important stock exchanges in the world. The NYSE traces its history back to 1792 when the Buttonwood Agreement was written. The agreement organized securities trading in New York and according to legend took place under a buttonwood tree. After a few decades, in 1817, New York’s stockbrokers instituted new reforms and reorganized. Delegates were sent to Philadelphia to observe its stock exchange practices and a more formal organization was adopted by the NYSE.

Today, the New York Stock Exchange is owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an American company that owns exchanges for financial and commodity markets, and operates 12 regulated exchanges and marketplaces.

Did You Know?

The facade of the New York Stock Exchange building still has marks from a bomb that went off in 1920, that killed 33 people and injured more than 400.


3. Philadelphia Stock Exchange

Year Established: 1790
Current Owner:  Nasdaq Inc.
No. of Listings: Unspecified

Philadelphia Stock Exchangephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

 

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange is the oldest in the U.S. and the Americas as a whole. While the Philadelphia Stock Exchange traces its formal history back to1790 when the Philadelphia Board of Brokers was formed, an informal exchange was already doing business for a few decades. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange raised money to fund public works around Philadelphia and also provided financial capital for many early American businesses, including The First Bank of the United States.

In order to survive this long, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange has always adapted to meet the current needs of the financial market. Additionally, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange has merged with several other American stock exchanges like the Baltimore Stock Exchange and Pittsburgh Stock Exchange.

Did You Know?

In 2008, NASDAQ acquired the Philadelphia Stock Exchange for $652 million and created the third-largest options market in the U.S


2. Paris Stock Exchange (Euronext Paris)

Year Established: 1724
Current Owner:  Euronext
No. of Listings: 1,078

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Paris Stock Exchange was created in 1724 through an order from the Royal Council of State. Like many of the stock exchanges on this list, the Paris Stock Exchange does have an informal predecessor, the Lyons Bourse, which dates back to 1540. During the French Revolution, the Paris Stock Exchange was shut down and returned in late 1795 with several changes that established the legitimacy of the stock exchange among the people of France. Following several changes in modern times, the Paris Stock Exchange merged with the Brussels and Amsterdam stock exchanges to form the first pan-European exchange, Euronext.

Did You Know?

In 1826, the Paris Stock Exchange was moved to the Palais Brongniart, where it remained for the next 150 years, before the exchange was moved to its current location.


1. Amsterdam Stock Exchange (Euronext Amsterdam)

Year Established: 1602
Current Owner:  Euronext
No. of Listings: 140

photo source: Wikimedia Commons via Henk Monster

Founded in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (currently called Euronext Amsterdam) is the world’s oldest and first stock exchange. It was the first exchange of its kind to trade in securities instead of commodities. The States General of the Netherlands gave the Dutch East India Company a 21-year charter over all Dutch trade in Asia and quasi-governmental powers. Over the centuries, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange has gone through many changes. In 2000, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange merged with the Brussels and Paris stock exchanges to form Euronext.

Did You Know?

In 1774, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange made another first in the world, when it established the world’s first investment fund to stave off a stock market crash.


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