The Stock Exchange of Helsinki (currently known as ‘Nasdaq Helsinki’) is already over a century old and celebrated its first 100 years of existence in 2012. This makes it just a few years older than the Republic of Finland, which is set to celebrate its first centenary of independence in December, 2017. Unique among the Nordic nations for its evolving as a republic rather than as a monarchy, Finland has carved a niche for itself on the world’s stage. The country was still under Russian rule when the Helsinki Stock Exchange first opened its doors for trading on the 7th October, 2012. In fact, the Finns had been under foreign rule, either Russian or Swedish, for for most of the previous millennium. However, the 20th century had great changes in store for the emerging nation, as the stock market also began to emerge. Both the Republic of Finland and the Helsinki Stock Exchange have continued to go from strength to strength.

From One Trade Per Day

Business was very quiet back in those early days, especially in comparison with today’s ever busy stock market. There was, reportedly, only one trade per day for quite a while The Helsinki Stock Exchange is certainly a lot busier nowadays than it was back then. It was a slow but steady beginning. Originally, there were 23 companies listed, including 11 banks and 7 insurance companies. There were many ups and downs throughout the years. The electro-mechanical quote system was introduced in 1935, completely transforming the way trading was carried out. In 1944, the Helsinki Stock Exchange building was bombed in the closing days of the Second World War. However, the Stock Exchange continued, in spite of this setback, which proved to be only temporary in the long term. The 1960s brought some black days, as the stock market faced various challenges.

An Innovative Decade

The eighties brought some path breaking changes with them. In 1984, the OTC (over the counter) list appeared, giving a breath of fresh air to a decades old system of tradition. In 1988, the trading of Listed Options and Futures began in Finland. In 1989, the First Securities Market Act was passed. Modernisation was slowly but surely being ushered in. Things would never be the same again.

HETI Trading System

The HETI Trading System was unveiled in 1987 and in subsequent years, introduced into the Helsinki Stock Exchange. ‘HETI’ is an acronym signifying ‘Helsinki Stock Exchange Automated Trading & Information Systems’. This new, digital system replaced the old electro-mechanical system.This system was particularly innovative as it enabled even remote traders to join in share trading along with those actually present in the trading room.

From Cooperative To PLC To Acquisition by Nasdaq Nordic

Originally a loose and free financial association, the Helsinki Stock Exchange has been evolving and has metamorphosed through several evolutions. In 1984 it was declared as a cooperative, owned by various banks and other financial organisations. In 1995, it was declared a private, limited company. After various mergers with other financial companies, the Helsinki Stock Exchange was acquired by Nasdaq Nordic in 2008. This company, which owns the Helsinki Stock Exchange, is not unlike its parent company, the US based Nasdaq. The Nasdaq Nordic group, however, has in its group the major stock exchanges of both the Nordic and Baltic countries. This makes the Helsinki Stock Exchange part of a larger international family of Nordic and Baltic financial institutions.

Ready To Face The Future – Towards The Next Centenary

Having celebrated its first centenary in 2012, the Nasdaq Helsinki is ready to face the challenges of the 21st century. Evolving along with the Republic of Finland, which was born at around the same time, the Stock Exchange of Finland continues to grow and evolve, and power the Finnish economy to greater heights.


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