The exchanges in the Western European region are located in the countries of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
To learn more about which exchanges are in each country, click on a country link above to begin your search.
One of the more mature regions for capital markets, the majority of countries are developed markets, exhibiting high income but also including an openness to foreign ownership, ease of capital movement and efficiency of market institutions.
Western Europe is one of the richest regions in the world. The regions highest ranked gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was Germany (4th globally) with a GDP of $3.5 trillion. In addition to Germany, the United Kingdom (5th), France (6th) and Italy (8th) had a top 10 GDP ranking. Further, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita and France has the highest net national wealth of any European nation.
Ranked upon Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), Germany (5th) also led the region with a PPP of $4.0 trillion followed by both the United Kingdom (9th) and France (10th), each making it into the top 10.
The Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) represents 35 exchanges, most of which are in Western Europe. Many exchanges in the region also belong to the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), which is a global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses.
Western Europe has the longest history of exchanges and capital markets with a number of exchanges dating back to before 1800.
In the 1300's, the Venetians were recognized as one of the first to trade securities with a form of debt known as prestiti. In the 1500's, Belgium established the first formal stock market system in Antwerp.
The region can also claim that it was the first region where a public company issued stock when the Dutch East India Company undertook the first initial public offering (IPO) in Amsterdam.
Other older exchanges include the Hamburg Stock Exchange or Hamburger Börse (1558), Frankfort Stock Exchange or Deutsche Börse AG (1585), Berlin Stock Exchange or Börse Berlin AG (1685), Vienna Stock Exchange or Wiener Börse AG (1771) and the Irish Stock Exchange (1793), all of which were some of the earliest established exchanges in the world.
The largest exchange in Western Europe is the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which finished 2016 with a market capitalization of $3.5 trillion.