The world of stocks is at once massive, alluring, and indecipherable. Untold amounts of capital flow through the market, changing hands as people invest, trade, and manage their stocks in an attempt to predict the flow of a thoroughly unpredictable system. Fortunes have been made and fortunes have been lost and it all happens on the floors of stock exchanges where stockbrokers and traders buy and sell securities, stocks, bonds, and other complex financial instruments. Across the world, there are many of these stock exchanges varying in size and companies listed. This list will run down the 10 biggest stock exchanges ranked by their market capitalization, which is the total value of all the shares of the companies listed on the exchange.
10. BSE India Limited
First off on the list is Asia's oldest stock exchange, the BSE, formerly known as the Bombay Stock Exchange. It boasts a market capitalization of $1.51 trillion and is the 10th largest stock exchange in the world. It was founded in 1875 by Premchand Roychand and is nowadays synonymous with Dalal Street, meaning Broker's Street. It is based in Mumbai India.
9. TMX Group
Next is Canada's very own TMX Group Limited, a financial services company that operates equities, fixed income, derivative, and energy market exchanges. The group is most well known for the exchanges it runs like the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange. It is headquartered in Toronto but operates across the world and has a market capitalization of $1.75 trillion.
8. LSE Group
Next up is the LSE group, otherwise known as the London Stock Exchange Group. This British-based stock exchange is headquartered in London, England but owns several stock exchanges including Italy's Borsa Italiana. It was founded in 1801 and boasts a March 2020 market capitalization of $2.92 trillion.
7. Shenzhen Stock Exchange
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange as the name suggests is a stock exchange based out of the Chinese city of Shenzhen. It is one of two such exchanges operating independently in mainland China, with the other being its bigger brother the Shanghai stock exchange. It was founded in 1990 and has a market capitalization of $3.28 trillion. Many of the companies on its market are tied to the Chinese government which owns a controlling interest in many firms.
Next is Euronext N.V., which stands for European New Exchange Technology. This European power player operates markets in a diverse array of countries which include Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Lisbon, Dublin, Oslo, and Paris. It's the largest European stock exchange and comes in at a hefty market capitalization of $3.67 trillion.
5. Hong Kong Exchanges
Hong Kong Exchanges runs a stock and futures market in Hong Kong through two subsidiaries. It also runs a total of four clearing houses in the country. Of note is the fact that the Hong Kong government is the single largest shareholder in the company with the power to appoint nearly half of the company's board of directors. It has a market capitalization of $4.23 trillion.
4. Shanghai Stock Exchange
Shanghai Stock Exchange is the larger of the two independently operating exchanges in China. As the fourth-largest exchange in the world, it is surprisingly not entirely open to foreign investors and is often affected by the movement and influence of the reigning central government. It comes in at a market capitalization of $4.67 trillion.
3. Japan Exchange Group
Next is the Japan, Asia-based company the Japan Exchange Group. This financial services giant operates multiple securities exchanges including the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange. The company came into existence as the result of a 2013 merger and as the third largest global exchange, it has a market capitalization of $5.1 trillion.
Now we're on to the American exchanges, both of which fill out the top two entries on this list. The NASDAQ Stock Market is situated at One Liberty Plaza in the big apple and trails behind the New York Stock Exchange as the second biggest stock market in the world. Founded in 1971, it now holds a staggering $11.23 trillion in market capitalization.
And finally, we have the stock exchange that most people imagine when they visualize frantic brokers and traders dashing around, the New York Stock Exchange. This behemoth is located on the venerable Wall Street and was founded in 1792, surviving the changes that have impacted the world over the past 200 years or so. Nowadays it sits on top of the stock exchange pile at a market capitalization of $25.53 trillion.