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The World’s Stock Indexes: The Biggest Stock Exchanges Worldwide

If you’re based in the UK then there is a good chance that you only concern yourself with what happens on the London Stock Exchange, maybe with a cursory glance at the Dow Jones or the NASDAQ every now and then. There are stock exchanges all over the world though, and using more than one of these could be your ticket to truly excelling as a trader.

The Top Five Stock Exchanges in the World:

5. In fifth is the Shanghai Stock Exchange, which was founded (in its current form) just a couple of decades ago in 1990. The biggest companies listed here include PetroChina, with a market-cap of close to 2,000 billion YEN, and Bank of China.

4. The Tokyo Stock Exchange makes it into the top five, having been founded in 1878 and boasting companies such as Toyota and other Japanese giants on its list.

3. The London Stock Exchange. The LSE is the UK stock exchange, which is proudly the third largest in the world. The London Stock Exchange was founded in 1801 and some of the biggest companies listed here include Royal Dutch Shell and BP.

2. The NASDAQ may not be the biggest, but with a capitalization of over $4,000 billion and growing, it’s certainly not small. NASDAQ stands for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. The biggest company on this stock exchange is Apple.

1. The New York Stock Exchange is the biggest stock exchange in the world. This is where you will find Wal-Mart, who are the largest public owned company in the world with a capital over over $200 billion. ExxonMobile are also listed here.

Other Rich Stock Exchanges

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange would be placed just outside of the top five, and isn’t too far away from the Shanghai Stock Exchange in terms of total capitalization. In fact, the two often swap places. The Euronext is also one of the top stock exchanges and should actually be in the top 5, but we left it out as it is not an official exchange of a country, so to speak. The Euronext is more of a European stock exchange, one that is spread across several different countries.

Most countries have stock exchanges, as listed below:

Canada: The TMX Group run exchanges in Canada, such as the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange. The Toronto Stock Exchange, which uses the listing TSX, is where you will find the biggest companies in Canada, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Oil Sands Trust.

Germany: Known as the Deutsche Borse AG, with subsidiaries such as the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, this is a business that has an annual revenue of close to 2 billion Euros, employing over 3,000 people. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange in itself is actually the tenth largest in the world. It is where the DAX is traded, which is composed of 30 Bluechip German stocks, with global brands such as Bayer, BMW, Adidas, Allianz, Siemens and Volkswagen all listed.

India: India have the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India. As they are one of the most densely populated countries on earth, and one of the fastest growing superpowers, this could be a great place to invest your money for the near future. Both of these exchanges are listed in the financial centre that is Mumbai, and in these exchanges you will find companies such as Jet Airways, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Jaypee Group and ITC.

Switzerland: Switzerland has always been known as a financial centre, with many people choosing to open bank accounts there due to their relaxed laws when it comes to International banking. This country is synonymous with banking, and it is also a great country to invest in through their main stock exchange, known as the SIX Swiss Exchange. Founded twenty years ago this year and once known as the SWX Swiss Exchange, this is the home of some of the biggest companies in Switzerland, including many of the banks that foreign investors love so much.

There are also big stock exchanges located in South Korea (Korea Exchange) Taiwan (Taiwan Stock Exchange), Spain (BME Spanish Exchanges), and Australia (Australian Securities Exchange).

Investing in Overseas Stock Exchanges

If you are based in the United Kingdom, as many readers of this website are, then you are able to invest in the New York Stock Exchange and in the NASDAQ, the two biggest stock exchanges in the world. You simply need to request such an exchange through your online broker, who may ask for extra details from you before such trades are made official, such as proof of ID.

Many UK traders choose to do this as they want to get their hands on shares in some of the world’s biggest companies. There is also no shortage of US traders that invest in companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, although in many cases they will have to jump through the same hoops. This is just to make it legit and to prevent fraud and money laundering — there should be no issues with such trades.

It may be more difficult to invest in stock exchanges located in the East, and even in Europe, as many sites are not geared up for such trades. This is mainly down to popularity though. Investing in European stock exchanges isn’t hard by any stretch of the imagination, but there is often more of a call for those living outside of the UK to try and invest in out stock exchange, rather than the other way around. You may need to jump through some hoops if you want to invest in either the Shanghai or Hong Kong Stock Exchanges, and although this will be more difficult to arrange than a trade in the US will be, it shouldn’t be impossible. If you can foresee making such trades then you should check that you are able to do so with your chosen broker before you make any commitment. Bear in mind that only the bigger and better known brokers tend to branch out and deal with International stock exchanges, with the smaller ones sticking to the local exchange.

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