Stock Market Guide to the Euronext Stock Exchange
Following a merger of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, Paris Bourse and Brussels Stock Exchange, on September 22, 2000, Euronext was formed. The purpose of the merger at the time was to take advantage of the standardization of financial markets under the jurisdiction of the European Union. But this is not where the pattern of change and acquisition for Euronext stopped, and in December 2001 the remodeled exchange acquired the shares of the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE), although leaving it to operate as a separate entity. Starting in 2003, Euronext LIFFE’s electronic trading platform LIFECONNECT started trading Euronext derivatives products. Euronext is now incorporated into the NYSE Euronext Group.
As a thriving pan-European stock exchange, Euronext is based in Paris, with subsidiary exchanges located in Belgium, Portugal, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The Euronext Group provides equities and derivatives markets, as well as clearing and information services. Statistics from January 2006 revealed that the market capitalization for markets run by Euronext totaled US$2.9 trillion, ranking it as the fifth largest exchange in the world. In addition to subsidiary exchanges, Euronext has membership and access agreements with the Helsinki Exchanges on cash trading, and with the Warsaw Stock Exchange for their derivatives and cash products.
The Euronext 100 index is the blue chip index of the exchange, with the Next 150 Index being a market capitalization index representing the large to mid-capitalization segment of Euronext listed stocks. With its stringent listing criteria, NYSE Euronext listed companies rank right at the top of the best-of-the-best, which in itself is an endorsement of quality and stability in a global market that has seen much turmoil in recent years.
This innovative group offers individual investors the opportunity to become familiar with its services and products through a series of educational programs and a comprehensive portfolio service, known as MyEuronext, as well as investment clubs in some of its locations. IPOs can be seen as an indicator of a country’s economic state of health, and in 2008 the European and US equities markets of NYSE Euronext attracted more IPOs than any other exchange group in the world, raising a total of €29 billion.