is very significant in the world economy due to the fast expansion of the global financial market.

At present, there are numerous stock exchanges across the world. But there are few exchanges, which are more than acentury oldbut still stand tall in the crowd.

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Over the years, these exchanges have gone through different phases of evolution- from open outcry era to the e-trading age.

Home to leading companies across the industries

The synonyms of the NASDAQ stock market are not ending here.

Its the USs largest electronic stock market in terms of shares traded and thesecond largest in terms of market capitalization.

The NASDAQ stock market has been organized differently from the traditional stock exchanges.

Instead of having a physical location, its held entirely on a network of computers and alltrades are performed electronically.

This had given it an edge over the other markets.

This is theworlds first electronic stock market. Due to the immense competition between the NASDAQ stock market and NYSE, both the exchanges came-up with many innovations and it also helped them to expand a lot.

TheNASDAQ stock marketwas founded in1971by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).

Currently, its owned and opened byNasdaq Inc.

Over the years, its added more companies than any other stock exchanges. So the trade and volume also increased.

In 1981, NASDAQ traded37% of the US security marketsshare and by 1991, this share rose to 46%.

The main indices of this stock market are NASDAQ Composite, NASDAQ-100, NASDAQ Financial-100, etc.

In 1992, in association with the London Stock Exchange, it formed the first intercontinental linkage of capital markets.

Located inWall Street in New York City, NYSE is theworlds largestand most liquid cash stock exchange which has a market cap of more than US$ 28 trillion.

In1792, when the operation of NYSE started there were only five securities- three government bonds and two bank stocks.

Since its inception, NYSE has been contributed significantly to the changes in American society.

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Its acquisition of the electronic trading exchange, Archipelago in 2006, resulted in the creation ofNYSE Arcaand the formation the publicly owned, for-profit NYSE Group.

Today,NYSE is operated by NYSE Euronext, which was formed in 2007 with the merger of NYSE with Euronext.

Despite having an online platform to trade,NYSE floor tradesare still used to set pricing and deal in high-volume institutional trade.

Currently, NYSE operates seven markets which give access to stocks, bonds, ETFs and options.

Among them,five are equity marketsand the remaining two are options and bond markets.

NYSE, NYSE America, NYSE Arca Equities, NYSE National, NYSE Chicago are equity markets.

On the other hand, NYSE Bonds, NYSE Arca Options, and NYSE American Options are bonds and options market of NYSE.

The famous NYSE indices are theDow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, the NYSE composite,NYSE US 100 Index, etc.

The journey of NYSE started when the Buttonwood Agreement was signed by 24 stockbrokers on Wall Street in New York City in 1792.

In1817, the stockbrokers operating under the Buttonwood Agreement introduced reforms.

After the reformation, the brokers rented a hall for trading of securities, which was previously taking place at the Tontine Coffee House.

In 1863, its name changed to theNew York Stock & Exchange Board.

Before moving to the present building, its changed the location several times. The current building of NYSE on Broad Street opened on 22 April 1903 at a cost of US $4mn and was designated as a National Historic Landmark on June 2, 1978.

Listing in theNYSEis not only limited for American companies but foreign companies can also list their shares here.

You can see many of the oldest publicly traded companies in this exchange.Con Edisonis the longest listed NYSE stock.

The Toronto Stock Exchangeis located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is the9thlargest stock exchange in the worldin terms of market capitalization.

The Toronto Stock Exchange was formed by a group of Toronto businessmen in 1852.

Even though it was formally created in 1852, there are no records of its early trades. The first recorded trade of TSE was made in 1861. Then there were only 13 listed securities in TSE and they were traded for just half-an-hour every day.

In 1868, the number of securities increased to 18. The initial membership cost was $5, which increased to $250 in 1871.

During the period of World War I, TSEwas closed for three months. Over the years, its size and trades increased and by 1936, the Toronto Stock Exchange grew to become the third-largest exchange in North America.

TheTSE 300 Indexwas launched in 1977 and during the same year, it introduced anautomated trading system, CATS.

In 1999, TSE became Canadas sole exchange for the trading senior equities and in 2002 its been rebranded as TSX.

For the first time in its history, the trades exceeded $1 trillion in 2005 and in 2007, theTSX Group and Montreal Exchangeagreed to merge, to form theTMXGroup.

Even though today, India has many stock exchanges (18 official stock exchanges) approved by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the BSE is the oldest and themost famous stock exchange among them.

Established in 1875, the headquarters of the BSE located atDalal Street in Mumbai.

In terms of market capitalization, its theworlds 10thlargest stock exchangeand its the oldest stock exchange of Asia.

In 1957, the Govt. of India approved the BSE under the Securities Contract Regulation Act (SCRA).

Over the years, it has launched many indices but, theS&P BSE SENSEXis the most famous among them.

SENSEXis a free-float market-weighted index consisting of 30 companies and Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) is the biggest among them in terms of market capitalization (while writing this article).

An Electronic trading platform called BSE On-Line Trading (BOLT) was launched in 1995 which has a capacity of handling 8mn trade per day. The derivative segment of the BSE was launched only in 2000.

In India, the real trading in corporate securities started in 1850 when the Companies Act was passed.

The period after this saw the swift development of commercial enterprises, which made investments in shares and stocks very popular.

The shares of banks, cotton mills and loan securities of the East India Company were transacted in large volumes in Mumbai as well as in Kolkata.

The cotton industry in India witnessed a boom in the 1860s as a result of the American Civil War. This boom accelerated the momentum of trading in securities.

But the life of this boom was very short. After the Civil War, the demand for cotton underwent a steep decline and the Indian capital market witnessed its first burst in 1865.

The impact of this decline was very strong as well as long and impacted the business of many stockbrokers.

They felt the necessity of having a regular and liquid market for securities in the country.

So, in Mumbai, thestockbrokerscame forward and formed the first formally organized stock exchange of the country.

It was formed as a society and named as The Native Share and Stock Brokers Association. Later, the stock market was set-up in different parts of the country.

In 1947, when India got independence from the British, there were four functioning stock exchange in the country. And the equity culture in the country was limited only among the rich.

But during the period between 1980 and 1992, the Indian capital market had undergone a widening and deepening process.

Emergence of debentures, introduction of public sector bonds, widening of mutual fund industry- all these events took place during this period.

This resulted in an increase in the number of listed companies as well as exchanges. With the increase in the number of companies, the market capitalization also picked-up.

By the end of 1991, the proportion of share owing population increased to 1.2% of the countrys total population. But unfortunately, a lot of irregularities existed in the structure and procedures of the stock market.

There was no price-priority in the trade, so the users of the market were not assured that a trade was executed at the best possible price.

The clearing and settlement procedures were also inefficient. All these problems resulted in the poor functioning of the stock market until 1990. But the period after 1992 witnessed several policy initiatives and electronic reforms.

From September 1992Foreign Institutional Investors(FIIs) were allowed to invest in the Indian market.

Today, FIIs are an integral part of the Indian capital market and have a crucial role in the movement of the share price in India.

Those are some of the worlds top stock exchanges. Stay tuned for more updates on this article.

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