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Home  >  Fundamental analysis  >  World exchanges  >  Swiss Exchange (SWX)

Swiss Exchange (SWX)

Switzerland, where banking prospered, developed stock exchanges much later than other European countries, with Zurich becoming a market center in the 19th century.

However, brokers associations long predated the creation of organized exchanges. The Zurich Sensale Ordinance of 1663 provided some control over sensale, an association of merchants and financial intermediaries.

The system remained essentially in place until 1848, when a new federal constitution took effect in Switzerland. The need for an organized market was becoming increasingly pressing, given the competition among European exchanges. For instance, Geneva already had an exchange since 1850.

At first, trading in Zurich was held only on Fridays beginning in 1855, hence the name of Freitagsborse, or Friday bourse. The plan to build an exchange in Zurich, tentatively called the Committee for the Official Bills of Exchange and Securities Quote List of Zurich, was drafted in 1873.

Four years later, the Zurich Stock Exchange Association made its debut. Its development was hampered by a quarrel between the local authorities who wanted to tax trading and the brokers who brought trading to a standstill with a protracted strike. The Zurich market got a boost when banks were admitted as members in 1896 but faced some hectic times due to speculation in Swiss railroad stocks. In the 1930s, Germanys financial crisis as a consequence of World War I, the collapse of a major bank and the devaluation of the British pound were all events that rocked the Zurich bourse.

Zurich became Europes largest warrant market in the 1990s, closed its floor and pioneered trading technology with the goal of becoming an international marketplace. Since 2002, SWX Group, wholly-owned by the Association SWX Swiss Exchange, is the holding company for the renamed SWX Swiss Exchange and other subsidiaries, including virt-x, a pan-European electronic stock exchange.

Its major coup is its partnership with Deutsche Borse in Eurex, the worlds largest derivatives exchange.

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