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Your Guide to the Sydney Stock Exchange

Your Guide to the Sydney Stock Exchange

Alongside the array of top restaurants that serve up delicious food and drink, world-famous venues like the iconic Opera House with its towering sail structure, and the city’s strong arts and entertainment scene, Sydney is a vibrant business hub. A building that perhaps represents this more than any other is the Sydney Stock Exchange, a leading financial centre.

Dating back over 150 years, the Australian stock market, known as the ASX, has risen to establish itself as the 13th largest share market in the world at the time of writing. For many visitors to the city or even locals, the history is fairly unknown. Behind the towering building is a vibrant stock exchange that is looking to replicate the success of other major stock exchanges around the world, such as the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.

Of course, most of the world’s stock trading is no longer done in person as technology continues to change the way in which we live and work. Buildings like the Sydney Stock Exchange still represent the beating heart of Australian finance, yet traders, both retail and professional, will usually work remotely. The rise of online brokers, who offer expert trading platforms like MT5 and MT4 to anyone, means traders can access all the stocks and financial instruments of the ASX without ever needing to step into the building.

Despite the rise of remote work, the Sydney Stock Exchange is a significant structure that many of the city’s hardworking people call their place of work. In fact, since 1997, traders have been occupying the busy trading floor there. It certainly has a rich history attached to it, with huge deals being pulled off and wealthy and highly respected individuals creating successful careers for themselves in a truly fast-paced working environment.

The first regional market was established in Melbourne

While we know it as the Sydney Stock Exchange, the Australian stock market is steeped in history and was first established in Melbourne in 1861. The coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria was the first regional exchange to be established in the entire country. From there, though, other exchanges emerged, such as in Sydney (1871), Hobart (1882), Brisbane (1884), Adelaide (1887) and Perth (1889).

Until 1937, when they effectively all joined forces to create the Australian Associated Stock Exchanges (AASE), these regional exchanges traded independently. This historic amalgamation resulted in regional indices being replaced by the All Ordinaries Index, also known as “All Ords”. This was a huge move for the nation as a whole, with it being Australia’s first official share price index and primary institutional benchmark for the Australian share market.

The Australian Stock Exchange was formed in 1987

After the government drafted legislation in 1987 to bring the aforementioned six independent state-based stock exchanges together as one, the Australian Stock Exchange was officially born. Eventually, even more changes were to arrive, with the stock exchange announcing that the S&P suite of indices, most notably the S&P/ASX 200, would be reinvented to become the new institutional benchmark for the Australian share market.

In 2000, further evolution occurred, particularly when S&P/ASX 200 replaced the All Ordinaries, resulting in the Australian share market gaining worldwide recognition. Even more, momentum was recorded in 2006, most notably when the merger and renaming of the entire stock exchange took place, eventually going on to be known as the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) after the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE) integrated to create a more powerful stock exchange that would rival some of the major stock exchanges in the world.

In 2015, this evident ambition was supplemented by an even bigger move as the Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX) was established with the aim of promoting Sydney and Australia as a leading financial centre. The company’s logo, which pictures the ocean’s depth and represents a source of wealth, coupled with other inclusions like a swirling red sun and a square box, is now known around the world, particularly for Asia Pacific companies that are chasing the type of growth that only listings can achieve.

How does SSX Limited compare to other stock exchanges?

While it’s now regarded as the beating heart of Australian finance, the Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX) doesn’t record the same type of numbers as major stock exchanges around the world, particularly when it comes to market cap. For instance, the largest stock exchange right now is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which has a staggering market cap of $24.3 trillion after being home to some of the planet’s major companies, such as Apple and Microsoft.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) is also operating in a different climate to Sydney’s very own stock exchange, pulling in a humongous market cap of $6.93 trillion. China’s economic growth is no secret, and the SSE is a major player in that. Likewise, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) continues to play a pivotal role in the United Kingdom’s economy, with a combined market capitalisation of approximately $3.10 trillion.

While the Sydney Stock Exchange doesn’t operate in the same type of climate as some of these other well-known exchanges, it’s still in its relative infancy compared to many of them. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, so too will the Sydney Stock Exchange as it aims to shape future investment in Australia and create further economic growth in the process.

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