Established four centuries ago, the Amsterdam stock exchange is regarded as the oldest in the world. Share trading originated in Amsterdam. A large shipping company called ‘De Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie’ was in permanent need of funds to finance the shipping goods from the Far East.
The shares in this company were first traded in the world, and at the start of the 17th century they were heavily traded on the Damrak, a street in Amsterdam. At first, only the shares that could be delivered immediately were traded, but soon Futures and Options could be traded as well.
Investors paid a premium to buy early call and put options, granting them the right to buy or sell shares in the future. The increasing trade in commodities and financial instruments led to a growing demand for a building to house the exchange. It opened in 1611.
During the 17th Century, the importance of the stock exchange grew as more bonds and company shares, including the West Indian Company founded in 1621 came on the market. By the end of the century the stock exchange had a permanent place at the heart of the financial sector.
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange Association (ASEA) was founded in 1851 to organize and regulate share trading in the Netherlands. Only members of this association were allowed to trade directly on the stock exchange. There was need for a regulatory body as more and more financial products were being traded.
In 1978 the European Options Exchange (EOE) was launched as the second of its kind in the world. The ASEA and the EOE merged in 1997. After the Stock Exchange abandoned its membership structure the Amsterdam Exchange was incorporated.
In 2000, Amsterdam Stock Exchange merged with Brussels and Paris to form Euronext N.V. as the first Pan European Exchange.
Black Hole Zoo Media / Euronext.