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Home  >  Fundamental analysis  >  World exchanges  >  London Stock Exchange - LSE

London Stock Exchange - LSE

The London Stock Exchange, or LSE, was formed around 300 years ago and today lists about 2,600 companies from 55 countries. Many large US companies that are listed on American exchanges also list on the London Stock Exchange - General Electric is one example.

The London Stock Exchange is much smaller than its American counterparts with average trading volume of around 250,000 shares. In 2005, there were roughly 63 million trades involving 2.5 trillion British Pounds.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is one of the worlds key equity markets, providing the opportunity for organisations to raise finance. They may do this by selling their shares or trading their debts by issuing bonds.

Over 2,600 companies have their stocks listed on the LSE. More than 370 member firms trade there, including investment banks, retail banks and stockbrokers. Its more established markets are:

the main market - trading shares from leading UK and international companies;

alternative investment market (AIM) - a secondary market trading in newer, smaller companies shares.

Begun in the seventeenth century as a private members club, the LSE became a public limited company in 2000, listed on its own exchange. Since then, it has been the subject of several take-over bids, mostly by other European exchanges, which it has resisted strongly. Following a bid by the Swedish exchange, OM, in 2003, the LSE entered into a joint venture with the OM group to launch EDX London, a new exchange trading international financial derivatives. At the time of writing, LSE is the subject of a bid from Euronext, having just fended off a second bid from Deutsche Boerse.

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