The NYSE or New York Stock Exchange:
The New York Stock Exchange is undoubtedly the first financial and stock exchange in the world. It was created in 1817. Although it has been marked by several major events such as the Crash of 1929 or the Black Tuesday of 1987, this stock exchange has managed to remain the largest in the world in terms of total capitalization since the end of the First World War. It was at that time that the NYSE overtook the London Stock Exchange.
The New York Stock Exchange has more than 2,400 listed companies in all sectors of activity, including finance, consumer goods, energy and health. It includes stocks of world-renowned companies such as Pfizer, Exxon Mobil and Citigroup Inc.
The main stock market index for this financial centre is the Dow Jones, although some of the stocks listed there are also included in the NASDAQ.
Nasdaq Stock Market:
Also based in New York, the NASDAQ market for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations was created in 1971. Its particularity is that it has never operated with an open quotation system but through a computerized and telephone trading system. It was thus the first electronic stock exchange in the world.
The NASDAQ is the second largest stock exchange in the world and lists stocks of companies in the technology sector such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Tesla and Apple.
The stock index associated with this exchange is the NASDAQ 100.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange:
The Tokyo Stock Exchange is, of course, Japan's main financial center. It was created by the merger of the Osaka Stock Exchange and the TSE in 2013 and is now associated with other stock exchanges around the world including the London Stock Exchange.
The London Stock Exchange has more than 3,575 listed companies and its benchmark index is the Nikkei 225, which includes such world-famous companies as Toyota Motors, Sony Corp and Honda Motor Co.
Its market capitalization places the Tokyo Stock Exchange in third place in this ranking.
Shanghai Stock Exchange:
The Shanghai Stock Exchange is one of the three major financial centres in China, along with Hong Kong and Shenzhen. This stock exchange has developed strongly over time to become the fourth largest in the world in terms of capitalization. It was created in 1990.
The shares listed on this exchange are A shares priced in yuan and B shares priced in US dollars. A shares can only be traded domestically outside of investors meeting certain conditions.
The benchmark index for the Shanghai Stock Exchange is the SSE Composite. It includes some very important companies such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and PetroChina.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange:
Another Asian financial centre comes fifth in this ranking. This is the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which was established in 1891 by the Association of Stockbrokers in Hong Kong. Since 2017, this exchange has been fully electronic.
The securities listed on this exchange are all denominated in Hong Kong dollars or HKD, as the majority of the companies listed are based in Hong Kong. There are a total of 1,955 companies listed on the exchange. However, a major part of the capitalization of this financial center comes from its 20 most important shares and among which we find the companies AIA, Tencent Holding or HSBC Holdings.
The London Stock Exchange:
Founded in 1801, the London Stock Exchange is currently the sixth largest exchange in the world. Its origins actually date back to 1698 as a bi-weekly paper publication of market prices, making it the oldest stock exchange in the world.
Once the world's largest stock exchange, it was overtaken after the First World War by the NYSE. However, it is the leading European stock exchange. It is also an international stock exchange with over 3,000 companies in 70 countries.
The benchmark stock market index for this exchange is the FTSE 100, known as the Footsie, which includes major stocks such as BP shares, Barclays shares and GlaxoSmithKline shares.
The Euronext market :
In seventh place is the Euronext market, which is a pan-European stock exchange based in the Netherlands and which also includes Portugal, Belgium, France and Ireland. It is quoted in euros.
In 2007, Euronext merged with the NYSE group to form NYSE Euronext. Euronext then became independent again in 2014 following its IPO.
This exchange brings together several countries and has more than 1,300 companies and 30 stock market indices.
But its major index is currently the Euronext 100, which includes the largest and most liquid stocks on the market, such as AXA, Christian Dior and Renault.
Shenzhen Stock Exchange:
This third Chinese financial centre is ranked eighth in the world. It was created in 1987 but has only been operational since 1990. The exchange is self-regulated but supervised by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
The shares are quoted in yuan.
The Toronto Stock Exchange :
Established in 1852, the Toronto Stock Exchange is Canada's largest financial centre with over 1,500 listed companies. It merged with the Montreal Exchange in 2009. It is currently the third largest exchange in North America in terms of capitalization.
It includes stocks such as Suncor Energy Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada and its benchmark index is the S&P/TSX. The securities included in this index represent more than 70% of its capitalization and allows to follow the 100 main companies of this stock exchange.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange or Deutsche Boerse :
The tenth and last stock exchange in this ranking of the world's largest stock exchanges is the Deutsche Boerse, which was founded in 1585 and was the first German stock exchange after the Second World War.
In 1993, this financial centre was taken over by Deutsche Börse AG, which was in discussions to take over the London Stock Exchange as well, but these negotiations finally failed in 2005.
The vast majority of companies listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange are based in Germany but also in some other countries whose national currency is the euro. The main stock market index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is currently the DAX 30 index, which brings together the top thirty companies of this stock exchange in terms of capitalization, including the shares of Adidas, BMW or E.ON.
Of course, this is a current ranking of the world's stock exchanges and it is likely to evolve according to the evolution of the capitalisations of these stock exchanges. We therefore advise you to check these capitalizations with interest.