On the European stock market, many Dutch stocks can be traded online. Find out more about these stocks and their specificities.
If you are looking to track and trade the major Dutch stocks, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange is the place to look. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is a financial centre that was created centuries ago and is still the oldest stock exchange in the world. It was launched by the Dutch East India Company in order to meet its very large capital requirements. The very first stocks were listed on this financial centre, first with immediately transferable stocks and then, little by little, with futures and options.
The regulation of this stock exchange was introduced in 1851 with the establishment of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange Association. Later, in 1978, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange authorised the launch of the European Options Exchange, which it merged with in 1997. From then on, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange will manage securities markets and derivatives transactions. Shortly thereafter, this will give rise to the Dutch benchmark index, the AEX, which will be discussed in more detail in the next paragraph.
More recently, in 2000, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange merged with two other major financial centres, the Paris Stock Exchange and the Brussels Stock Exchange, to create Euronext NV, which is the leading pan-European stock exchange. This new entity offers a unique service delivery model with different clearing and settlement services, a central securities depository and a data transmission service to provide investors with a constant flow of information of the highest quality.
Dutch stocks, i.e. securities issued by large companies in the Netherlands, are all listed on this exchange and its sub-division called Euronext Amsterdam.
Now let's take a closer look at the benchmark stock market index for the Netherlands, the AEX 25 index. This index, whose acronym actually stands for Amsterdam Exchange Index, is the main index in this country, although it is not actually the only one. It is a so-called "basket" stock market index, since it is calculated by weighting the various Dutch stocks that make it up. It is the most widespread type of stock market index in the world since each stock has a variable weighting according to the size of its total market capitalisation or free float.
As its name clearly indicates, the AEX 25 stock market index is composed of 25 stocks, some of which are Dutch, but also foreign stocks such as Air France. It is therefore not only representative of the Dutch economy. The 25 companies included in the index are those with the largest free floating-stock market capitalisation, i.e. the largest number of shares in circulation on the market, which is a guarantee of very high liquidity on the market.
The AEX 25 Stock Market Index is very similar to other European stock market indexes such as the CAC 40 or the American Dow Jones Index, since it includes many large companies in the industrial and financial sectors. The composition of this benchmark index changes annually, since it is revised each March by comparing the results of the 25 companies that make it up. This revision may then lead to the inclusion of new stocks in the index and the withdrawal of other stocks, often resulting in a very sharp drop in the share price of the company concerned.
In terms of the evolution of the AEX 25 itself, we note that its share price has always followed the evolution of its European counterparts, with a sharp drop during the economic and financial crisis of 2008.
Although the AEX 25 stock market index includes all the major European stocks, the few Dutch stocks included in the index are among the most interesting to trade in view of their high volatility and the quantity and quality of the information you can find about them. Because the AEX market is particularly popular with traders from all over the world, stock analysts also take a close interest in these stocks, often carrying out relevant market analyses and providing buy and sell signals that you can use when setting up your own strategies.