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Investor’s Guide to the Paris Stock Exchange – Euronext Paris

Known through history as the Bourse de Paris or simply the Paris Bourse, the Paris Stock Exchange is France’s largest stock exchange and since the turn of the Millennium it has been known as Euronext Paris, one of several consolidated exchanges that are included in the pan-European marketplace under the Euronext banner. There are several financial instruments that are traded actively on the Euronext Paris marketplace, which include indices, equities, commodities, bonds and derivatives. The exchanges that are part of Euronext, as well as the Paris Stock Exchange, are based in London, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Brussels. There are over 1300 companies which are listed on this integrated electronic exchange, and this makes it Europe’s biggest capital market. The Paris marketplace’s vitality is usually measured by the way the CAC 40 equities index is performing. Under the management of Euronext Paris, this index is representative of the forty biggest equities which are listed on the exchange in term of their market capitalisation and liquidity. All trading and investment operations that are conducted by Euronext Paris are under the domestic regulation of le Comite des Etablissements de Credit et des Entreprises d’Investissement (CECEI), the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), the French Ministry of Economics and the banking commission. The Euronext exchange is enormous in size, and by consolidating the European independent markets in a single universal marketplace, Euronext has managed to become one of the strongest global trade leaders. The Paris Stock Exchange always seeks to offer traders the latest cutting edge trading platforms and services to its investors and is part of a pan-European exchange which is acting as a gateway for international companies to access European investment communities as well as a support base for the European economy as a whole.

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The History of the Paris Stock Exchange

paris stock exchangeThe start of the 19th century saw the inception of the Paris Bourse and also the beginning of a new era in the French financial market. While there were some similarities to the monopolistic, old style Parisian marketplace, the Paris Bourse was considered a public place where securities trading could take place. While its inception did not give the French people access to unfettered free trade, it was representative of a financial reform movement taking place through the country. The Paris Bourse was based in an elaborate building called the Palais Brongniart which was finished in 1826 and which housed trading activities on the exchange for a century and a half. During the 1980s, the Paris Bourse underwent a period of reform, with computer systems being integrated into its trading operations in an attempt to gain back business which had been lost to London’s stock exchange. While the Paris Bourse’s trading system had been the open outcry method, in 1989 this system only remained in a very limited capacity, with the exchange becoming entirely electronic in 1998. The four major French financial institutions underwent a merger and comprehensive restructuring in 1999, with the MATIF SA, the SBF, the Societe du Nouveau Marche and the MONEP SA being consolidated in a single new company, known as the Paris Bourse SBF SA. This new formation allowed all kinds of trading activities that encompassed bonds, derivatives, stocks and commodities to be available at a single exchange. In 2000, the Paris Bourse officially ended its role as the country’s independent marketplace, with the new Paris Bourse SBF SA merging with the Brussels and Amsterdam exchanges to form the very first pan-European stock exchange. This eventually became known as the Euronext N.V. The Euronext exchange offered completely integrated electronic trading for traders as well as giving access to various markets including commodities, derivatives, debt and equities. 2007 saw the merger of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the Euronext exchange forming an entity called NYSE Euronext which was widely regarded as a way of creating a global marketplace to promote international trading of debt instruments, derivatives and equities.

The Indices and Structure of the Paris Stock Exchange

There are three distinct sections of the French equities market. These include:

There is also a family of different indices that are calculated by Euronext Paris:

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