5 of the Biggest Stock Exchanges across the Globe


To be an investor, there are certain places and terms that you need to familiarize yourself with. One of those places is the stock exchange.

There are numerous stock exchanges that you can find all over the world. The companies that you wish to invest in can be found in these exchanges if they are listed in them.

In this article we’ll be discussing with you the different stock exchanges that you can find across the globe. But before that, let’s answer the question: what is a stock exchange?

A stack of pennies on top of a printed graph

What is a Stock Exchange

A stock exchange is an institution or organization where you’ll be able to find the markets where stocks, bonds, options and futures, as well as commodities are being traded.

During certain times within business hours, you’ll find buyers and sellers together in the market. Exchanges are the ones responsible for enforcing rules and regulations on the firms and brokers involved with them. If you find a certain company in the exchange, it means that people will refer to it as “listed”.

The stock exchange also makes it possible for you to buy or sell securities without even personally knowing the person on the other end of the trade. They can be halfway across the globe, yet you are able to trade with each other. This, the need for convenience, is what actually drove the establishment of the biggest stock exchange in the world.

There are securities that are not listed in any exchange; these companies are often found and sold OTC or Over-the-Counter.

5 of the Biggest Stock Exchanges Found Across the Globe

New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange or the NYSE is part of the NYSE EURONEXT. According to its estimates, the NYSE represents one-third of the total equities traded globally. It continues to be one of the primary exchanges in the world and the largest when it comes to the almost $10 trillion in stock market capitalization it represents.

The NYSE is estimated to have been established in 1792 with the Bank of New York, now a part of Bank of New York Mellon, being the first traded stock.

London Stock Exchange
The London Stock Exchange or LSE is one of the top five stock markets in the world. It has an estimated $2.2 trillion in stock market capitalization from the companies listed on its exchange. It was estimated to have been established in 1801, almost a decade after the founding of the NYSE.

There are around 3,000 companies from across the globe being traded on the LSE and its affiliated exchanges, giving it the self-proclaimed title of most international of global exchanges.

Tokyo Stock Exchange
The Tokyo Stock Exchange or TSE is the largest exchange that you can find in Japan. The TSE is believed to have been established in 1878 and are partners with other exchanges around the globe. One of the primary and most popular indices that represent some of Japan’s largest and most successful firms is the Nikker 225 index.

It’s also ranked second, behind the NYSE, when it comes to the more than $3 trillion in market capitalization denoted by the 2,000 firms listed on its exchange.

Hong Kong Stock Exchange
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange qualifies to be one of the 10 largest stock exchanges in the world. The roughly 1,500 companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange denote almost $2 trillion in total market capitalization.

The first operation of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange dates back to just prior to 1900. It also acts as one of the primary avenue for global investors to invest in China.

Shanghai Stock Exchange
The Shanghai Stock Exchange is one of the newest exchanges in the world having opened in late 1990. It also has 1,500 companies being traded on its exchange. The trading volume on this exchange continued its rise until a dramatic fall which began in 2008, the year which marked a peak in term of investment interest in China.

One of the major restrictions in the exchange is that “A” shares of Chinese companies can only be exchanged by local residents of China. Hong Kong has “H” shares left open to global investors.


There are numerous stock exchanges you can find around the world, you just have to identify the company you’d like and find the stock exchange it belongs to. Just remember to learn as much as you can about the stock exchanges before getting involved in it.

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