Amsterdam Exchanges is the company formed by the recent merger of the former EOE-Optiebeurs and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. It began operation on 31 December 1996.

Within the structure of the merged entity, new operating company AEX-Effectenbeurs is responsible for the organisation of the public capital market. The company will now pay dividends to shareholders, abandoning the old system of membership.

AEX-Optiebeurs, the Amsterdam Exchanges options and futures exchange, is the derivatives operating company. The Amsterdam Options Exchange is the largest in the time zone and the third largest in the world.

AEX-Clearing & Depository is responsiblefor the settlement of all transactions carried out on the exchanges and through Necigef for the provision of safe custody services. The functions are spread over three companies.

AEX-Optieclearing is responsible for settlement of all transactions carried out on Amsterdam Exchanges’ options and futures exchanges, with AEX-Effectenclearing covering the stock exchange.

The Necigef, the third component of AEX-Clearing & Depository is charged with the transfer of securities by book entry and safe custody, management, and administration. It also carries out cross-border securities transactions via links with Belgium, Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland.

Amsterdam Exchanges currently compiles five indexes, the Amsterdam Exchanges-index, the Dutch Top 5 index, the Eurotop 100 index, the Amsterdam Midkap-index and the Rabo Securities Dutch Publisher index.

The strategy of the new company is explicitly constructed around the introduction of the Euro. The strategy includes the strengthening of its position in the Dutch market by improving its market penetration. It plans to list a wider range of financial stocks issued by foreign institutions and aims to provide a number of European products. The exchange also plans to strengthen the original clearing organisation and to emphasise its position as the central clearing organisation for Dutch securities.

The value of the primary stock market in 1996 was Dfl789bn.

The market value of public issues in 1996 was Dfl12.3bn.

The value of bonds issued was Dfl534bn whilst Dfl87bn worth of bonds was issued last year.

The exchange lists the shares of 217 domestic companies, those of 164 investment funds, the shares of 215 foreign companies, and of 22 foreign investment funds. The total number of individual shares is 618, although this a fall from 625 in 1995 and 667 in 1994.

The sale of shares in the new company, Amsterdam Exchanges was completed last month with the offer open to two categories: former members of the holding company of the options exchange and of the stock market and to institutional investors and issuing institutions.

This year, the exchange plans to launch NMAX a new market for young fast-growing businesses, bringing into force a collaboration with similar markets in Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt.