History Of Stock Market Index - How the Stock Market Started

Contrary to the common belief that the stock market was first invented by the Italians, the real beginnings of the stock market were in 11th-century Cairo where Muslim and Jewish merchants employed various methods of credit and payment. The first brokers, however, were the French, for in the 12th century, the “courratiers de change” represented the banks and regulated and managed the different debts related to agriculture.

The “Beurzen”, on the other hand, started spreading in Ghent and Amsterdam after 1309 due to the efforts of Van der Beurse, hence, changing an informal meeting to an institutionalized one.

Pisa, Genoa, Verona and Florence saw trading in government funds and secutiries as early as the 14th century. Joint stock companies, opened to shareholders, were later opened by the Dutch. The first company to ever issue stocks and bonds was the “Dutch East India Company” opened in 1602.

The “Amesterdam Beurs”, or stock market, was the first one where there was a continuous exchange of trading in the early 17th century. By then, stock markets were in most developed economies, most importantly in the US, China, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France and Japan.

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