Borsa Italiana Stock Exchange
Borsa Italiana S.p.A. is the main stock exchange in Italy. In 2007 Borsa Italiana was aquired by the London Stock Exchange (LSE), with daily operation remaining essentially unchanged. Situated in Milan its chief goal is to develop managed markets as well as maximizing their own transparency, liquidity and competitiveness whilst creating high levels of profitability. As the organization manages the Italian stock exchange it has the responsibility of organizing the functioning of the markets, overseeing the market as well as the setting procedures and rules for the admission of companies and brokers. Some 130 local and international brokers participate in the Italian stock market both in Italy itself or through electronic trading. Borsa Italiana also manages Italy's derivatives markets (IDEM & MIF) as well as the fixed income market (MOT), the latter with buy and sell contracts being traded on government securities, as well as nonconvertible bonds.
As previously mentioned the Italian Stock Exchange was privatized in 1997 and Borsa Italiana became a self-regulatory organization in January 1998. A number of new rules were created and enforced. Through 1999 the Italian stock market continued developing. It launched the Nuovo Mercato as well as the Euromot taking in fixed income, equities and derivatives activities. From then on, it grew into what it is today. The primary incides of Borsa Italiana are MIDEX, STARS, techSTAR, ALL STARS, S&P/MIB, MIB and MIB TEL. Borsa Italiana indexes about 270 listed stocks which are categorized into 5 market sectors. Look out for these top companies on the Italian Stock Exchange: Parmalat S.p.A.; Fiat Group; UniCredit S.p.A.; Tiscali S.p.A. and Benetton Group S.p.A.
What about the Italian economy as a whole? Following World War Two, the political structure of Italy has been weak, but its economic base has had some strength. After joining the EMU or Economic and Monetary Union, Italy has been focusing on reducing unemployment, dropping taxes, lowering the budget deficit as well as debt and increasing its competitiveness. Unfortunately economic growth in Italy has been minor. In 2005 the total value of goods exported from Italy came to US$ 372.8bn. Exports include textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, chemicals, food, beverages, nonferrous metals, engineering products, minerals and transport equipment. Imports in 2005 came to US$ 372.7bn. Imports to Italy include chemicals, energy products, transport equipment, minerals, food, tobacco and beverages. The plan for the 2007 budget is to give economic growth in Italy a boost as well as to lower the budget deficit. Certain organization forecast that GDP growth will drop to 1.1% in 2007 and then rise to 1.6% in 2008.