What Is Euronext?

Euronext is the largest stock exchange group in Europe, and one of the largest in the world. It was originally created via the mergers of the Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels stock exchanges.

Over the years, it has since merged with several other exchanges, most notably the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), before itself being acquired by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). In 2014, Euronext was spun off to become an independent entity once again.

Key Takeaways

  • Euronext is a large, global stock exchange group, originally the combination of three former exchanges from France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
  • It currently operates the largest stock exchange system in Europe, and owns the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The company was once acquired by Intercontinental Exchange, but now has returned to operating independently.

Understanding Euronext

Euronext was formed in 2000 with the merger of three national European exchanges. It later acquired the Portuguese stock exchange and the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE), expanding its offerings to include equities, exchange traded funds, warrants and certificates, bonds, derivatives, commodities, and indices.

It maintains headquarters in Amsterdam with major offices in Brussels, London, Lisbon, Dublin, and Paris. As of 2017, Euronext listed 1,300 issuers representing more than €3 trillion (euros) in market capitalization.

Some of its more notable benchmark equity indexes include:

  • AEX in Amsterdam
  • BEL 20 in Brussels
  • CAC 40 in Paris
  • PSI 20 in Lisbon
  • Euronext 100—a pan-European blue-chip index

NYSE Euronext is a publicly-traded company that sees transactions worth over €100 billion in securities each trading day. With approximately 8,000 listed issues, NYSE Euronext's equities markets represent one-third of the world's equities trading. Euronext shares are listed in Amsterdam with the symbol ENX.

Timeline of Euronext's Milestones

  • 2000: Euronext NV formed by merging the stock exchanges of Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
  • 2002: Euronext buys LIFFE and the Portuguese stock exchange.
  • 2005: Alternext created.
  • 2007: Euronext merges with New York Stock Exchange to create NYSE Euronext.
  • 2010: Euronext London created.
  • 2013: Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) buys NYSE Euronext.
  • 2014: Euronext re-emerges from ICE via an initial public offering (IPO). (ICE retained ownership of the New York Stock Exchange and LIFFE.)

Alternext and Enternext

Regulated solely by Euronext, the Alternext is an equity trading market, opened in 2005, that offers streamlined listing requirements and trading rules to better meet the needs of small and mid-sized firms while ensuring investor transparency.

EnterNext is the Euronext subsidiary, created in 2013, dedicated to financing and promoting small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the financial markets. It comprises the 750 listed companies on Euronext markets in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

Exchange Merger Madness

In 2006, Nasdaq made an attempt to acquire the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Noting the race to scale, the NYSE Group decided to go after Euronext. The Nasdaq-LSE merger did not progress.

However, the Deutsche Börse in Germany tried unsuccessfully to outbid the NYSE Group. The German group tried on two occasions to merge with the new NYSE Euronext but lost out to Intercontinental Exchange.

In 2017, the European Union's antitrust watchdog formally blocked the planned $28 billion merger between Deutsche Börse and London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group after the parties failed to offer sufficient solutions to assuage antitrust concerns.