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Warsaw Stock Exchange

The Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), Giełda Papierów Wartościowych w Warszawie, is a stock exchange located in Warsaw, Poland. It is the largest stock exchange in the region, with a capitalisation of €221 billion.

The WSE is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges.

Structure and operations

The WSE is a joint stock company founded by the State Treasury. It is divided into about 60,000 registered shares of 700 złotys each. The Treasury holds the largest stake (almost 99%), with the rest divided among several dozen entities, including banks and brokerage houses.

The legal framework for exchange operations is provided by three acts from 29th July 2005:

  • Act on Public Offering, Conditions Governing the Introduction of Financial Instruments to Organised Trading, and Public Companies
  • Act on Trading in Financial Instruments
  • Act on Capital Market Supervision

Additionally, the WSE is governed by the Code of Commercial Companies of 2000, the Statutes of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the Rules of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and the Rules of the Stock Exchange Court.

The following instruments are traded on the WSE: shares, bonds, subscription rights, allotments, and derivatives such as futures, options, and index participation units.

Since its inception, the WSE has engaged in electronic trading. The WARSET trading platform has been in use since November 2000. An additional market called NewConnect was introduced on 30th August 2007.

The exchange has pre-market sessions from 08:00am to 09:00pm, normal trading sessions from 09:00pm to 04:20pm and post-market sessions from 04:20pm to 04:30pm on all days of the week except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays declared by the Exchange in advance.

History

The first exchange in Warsaw, the Warsaw Mercantile Exchange, was established on 12th May 1817. The first day of trading was on 16th May. Initially, trading sessions were held between 1pm and 2pm. In the 19th century mainly bills and bonds were traded. Share trading on a broader scale developed in the second half of that century. Between 1918 and 1939, the WSE was by far the largest of several bourses in different Polish cities (Katowice, Kraków, Lwów, Łódź, Poznań and Wilno), and accounted for 90% of the volume traded on the Polish market. When the Second World War broke out, the stock exchange was closed.

It was only after the fall of the communist regime in 1989, that the Warsaw Stock Exchange could be reestablished. Much needed experience and financial aid was provided by France (especially the Société des Bourses Françaises). The WSE began activity in its present form on 16 April 1991. On the first trading day only five stocks were listed (Tonsil, Próchnik, Krosno, Kable, and Exbud). Seven brokerages took part in the trading, and there were 112 buy and sell orders, with a turnover of only 1,990 złotys ($2,000).

In the years 1991-2000, the stock exchange was located in the building which during the previous, and then recent, communist years had been the seat of the Central Committee of the ruling Polish Communist Party. This can be considered an interesting reflection on the rapid transition of Poland from a communist to a market economy.

Since then the WSE has been developing and growing rapidly and is now perceived as well established on the European market. In September 2008 the stock exchange was recognized as an "Advanced Emerging" exchange by FTSE, alongside markets from such countries as South Korea or Taiwan.

Statistics

  • Number of companies listed: 366 (1st July 2008)
  • Market value of listed shares (1st July 2008): 739.923 bln PLN (349 bln USD)
  • Market value of Polish companies: 372.810 bln PLN (175.85 bln USD)
  • Volume of stocks traded in 2007: 479.480 bln PLN (226 bln USD)

Stock market indices

There are fourteen indices on the WSE.

References

See also

External links

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