Stock exchange

A stock exchange is an organization of which the members are stock brokers. A stock exchange provides facilities for the trading of securities and other financial instruments. Usually facilities are also provided for the issue and redemption of securities as well as other capital events including the payment of income and dividends.

The securities usually traded on a stock exchange include the shares issued by companies, unit trusts and other pooled investment products as well as corporate bonds and government bonds.

Usually there is a central location at least for recordkeeping, but trade is less and less linked to such a physical place, as modern markets are electronic networks, which gives them advantages of speed and cost of transactions. Trade on an exchange is by members only; a stock broker is said to "have a seat" on the exchange.

A stock exchange is often the most important component of a stock market. There is usually no compulsion to issue stock via the stock exchange itself and nor must stock be subsequently traded on the exchange: Such trading is said to be "off exchange".

The initial offering of stock to investors is by definition the primary market and subsequent trading is the secondary market.

Increasingly all stock exchanges are part of the global securities market.

Supply and demand in stock markets is driven by various factors which, as in all free markets, affect the price of stocks (see stock valuation).

In francophonic European countries stock exchanges are called bourses.


History of the Stock Exchange

In 12th Century France the courratier de change was concerned with managing and regulating the debts of agricultural communities on behalf of the banks. Because these man also traded with the debts, they could be called the first broker.

In late 13th Century Bruges commodity traders gathered inside the house of a man called Van der Bourse, and in 1309 they institutionalized this until now informal meeting and became the "Bruges Bourse". The Idea quickly spread around Flanders and neighbouring counties and "Bourses" soon opened in Ghent and Amsterdam.

In the middle of the 13th Century Venice Bankers began to trade with government securities. In 1351 the Venician Government outlawed spreading rumors intended to lower the price of government funds. Pisa, Verona, Genoa and Florence also began trading with government securities during the 14th century. This was only possible because these were independent city states not ruled by a duke but a council of influental citizens.

In 1602 the Dutch East India Company issued the first shares on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. It was the first company to issue stocks and bonds.

Listing requirements

Companies have to meet the requirements of the exchange in order to have their stocks and shares listed and traded there. To be listed on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), for example, a company must have issued at least a million shares of stock worth $100 million and must have earned more than $10 million over the last three years ([1] (

Other exchanges

See also


List of Marketing TopicsList of Management Topics
List of Economics TopicsList of Accounting Topics
List of Finance TopicsList of Economists

bg:Борса cs:Burza de:Brse eo:borso es:Bolsa de valores fr:Bourse (conomie) he:בורסה lt:Birža nl:Beurshandel pt:Bolsa de valores id:Bursa saham ja:証券取引所 sl:borza fi:Prssi zh:證券交易所


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