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The Vienna Stock Exchange, also known as the Wiener Borse AG, is an Austria-based regional stock market. The exchange’s primary activity is serving as a market for the sale of stocks and bonds issued by publicly traded companies. In addition to stocks and bonds, the Vienna Stock Exchange also serves as a commodities exchange and is particularly active in the energy sector.
Among the world’s longest-operating capital markets, the Vienna Stock Exchange began operations in 1771. It’s initial purpose was to create a market to sell bonds issued by the Austrian Empire. Having grown into a major regional market, over half of the stocks traded in Austria typically are traded on the Vienna Stock Exchange.
The majority of the trading activity on the Vienna exchange is called over-the-counter trading. This means the transaction is between two independent parties. The exchange reconciles, or keeps track of, the trades for a fee per transaction.
Additional sales are handled through a system maintained by the exchange that lists stocks and prices and keeps tracks of purchases and sales. Both over-the-counter and traditional sales on the exchange are conducted electronically. The Vienna exchange’s electronic trading system is modeled after the German Stock Exchange system.
The trading day on the Vienna Stock Exchange begins at 9:15 a.m. local time. Trading closes at 5:35 p.m. local time. The exchange is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed Saturday and Sunday and on specified holidays.
Many exchanges have stock indexes associated with them; an index is a group of stocks tracked under a single name. The largest index on the Vienna Stock Exchange in terms of capital value is the Austrian Traded Index, which is a portfolio of 20 selected stocks. The exchange is also home to the WBI Index, which consists of the stocks of all companies based in Austria traded there.
As stock exchanges have evolved, many have become for-profit business entities in and of themselves, using their earnings to better position themselves to act as strong capital markets for their geographic ares of influence. The Vienna Exchange followed this model by forming the CEE Stock Exchange Group. This group owns the Vienna Stock Exchange, the Budapest exchange, and the exchanges of Ljubljana and Prague.
By becoming a subsidiary of the CEE exchange in partnership with the other exchanges, these entities became among the largest exchange systems in Eastern and Central Europe. The holding company oversees investments held by the subsidiary exchanges. It is the Vienna Stock Exchange, as the originator of the CEE, that is responsible for managing international issues among the four exchanges.