The Amsterdam stock exchange goes international

From the beginning, Amsterdam’s stock market was always strongly internationally oriented. Not for nothing was the Amsterdam stock exchange for a long time considered as financier of foreign countries. From the end of the 19th century, the period of the Second Golden Age this gradually changed. A large influx of domestic companies, ensured that the Amsterdam stock exchange grew to be the “engine of the Dutch economy. A national institution that was cherished.

The uproar was therefore great when the intention of an international merger was announced in the late 1990s. Opponents feared that the distinct character and national financing function of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange would be compromised. Proponents believed that an international merger was logical and necessary given the rise of new players, the introduction of the euro, and the advancing digitization and globalization of securities trading. Those in favor were in the majority and got what they wanted. In September 2000 Amsterdam Exchanges together with Brussels Exchanges and Paris Bourse into the European stock exchange group Euronext. In all three cities, Euronext maintained both the securities and derivatives markets. In 2002, Euronext expanded to include the stock and derivatives exchange in Portugal, and the London derivatives exchange LIFFE also joined.

In 2007, Euronext merged with the New York Stock Exchange and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange merged into the transatlantic exchange organization NYSE Euronext. Following a 2011 merger attempt between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse that fell foul of Brussels competition authorities, NYSE Euronext was acquired by the U.S. commodities and energy exchange Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2013. In doing so, ICE was primarily concerned with NYSE and LIFFE. The exchanges in Brussels, Lisbon, Paris and Amsterdam were split off under the old name Euronext. After listing on its own exchanges, Euronext has been standing on its own two feet since mid-2014, while recently the Dublin (2018), Oslo (2019) and Milan (2021) exchanges also joined the exchange group.

Whether the “international train” has reached its final destination with this is highly questionable. Again, there are noises about acquisitions and the importance of economies of scale. Conversely, critical voices are also still being heard about the position and room for maneuver of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange within the international stock exchange business. An important question in this regard is whether Amsterdam will have sufficient opportunities to function as a financier of Dutch business as it has in the past.