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What is the Oslo Stock Exchange?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2016
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The Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) is the center of Norwegian stock and security trading. With more than 100 years in business, this exchange hub has undergone several changes in its operation and ownership on its way to becoming the premier place for trading of Norwegian and international stocks. The OSE follows a rigid daily schedule in order to ensure fairness for its various traders.

Compared to the modern version, the Oslo Stock Exchange was much different when it opened in 1881. The exchange was a long time coming, considering that it was first proposed by Nicolay Andersen in 1818 as a way to bring Norwegian business into the same realm as industrialized nations such as Great Britain. The opening of the OSE prompted the nation's move away from an economy based primarily on fishing and farming and toward a more commercial economy.

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The evolution from Norway's simple history to its modernity is best illustrated by the Oslo Stock Exchange itself. Then known as the Christiania Bors, the exchange didn't do much trading and fixed its prices only once a month. Gradually, as more businesses began offering public holdings, the floor of the exchange crowded with trading in the traditional auction system used throughout the world at the time. In 1988, the Oslo Stock Exchange took another leap by instituting an electronic system that updated stock prices continually throughout the day, replacing the auctions. In 1999, the exchange became fully electronic, eliminating the need for a trading floor altogether.

The Oslo Stock Exchange handles a variety of different companies during its daily functions. Its stock index, listed as OBX, showcases the 25 most liquid companies in Norway, usually consisting of shipping, petroleum and industrial organizations. The exchange deals with many more Norwegian companies and international companies, too. In order to fairly trade these stocks, the market handles its operations the same every day, providing fairness to all traders. The day begins with pre-market sessions from 8:15 to 9:00 each morning, followed by normal trading until 5:25 each afternoon.

The Oslo Stock Exchange was self-owned for more than 100 years until it was sold in 2001. It was then converted to a joint stock company, offering shares of itself to the public. As of 2010, the company DnB NOR owned the largest number of shares, controlling more than 18 percent. In addition, the Scandinavian stock exchange group, OMX, purchased 10 percent.

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