Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Financial Dictionary -> Investing -> Hong Kong Stock Exchange

First founded in 1891 and currently located in Hong Kong, China, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (or simply HKEX in its abbreviated form), is one of the primary stock market exchange in China, and the third largest exchange in Asia, having around 1,241 listed companies and a total market capitalization of $2.7 trillion US Dollar equivalent. It is second only to the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange in terms of combined market cap. In regards to world rankings by market cap it is the 10th largest in the world, behind The Netherlands' and Italy's stock exchanges.

Historically the Honk Kong Stock Exchange began trading in informal securities in the 1800's before legitimizing in 1891. It has had several complex buyouts, mergers and co-operations over the years but has remained strong as its own entity. Although it is not the leader in Asia anymore, it did have the monopoly during 1947 to 1969 period.

Today the HKEX utilizes a fully electronic system that it operates from its trading lobby, which originally came in to use during the early 90s in a simpler form. This has allowed it to increase volume and keep up with the standards of contemporary investing. In the year 2000 it adopted an even more advanced system that catered to online trading.

The exchange's trading hours begin with a morning session from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and an afternoon session from 2:30pm to 4:00pm; however during the winter months hours a shifted back an hour, beginning at 9:00 am.

The primary stock market index for the Honk Kong Exchange is the Hang Seng, tracking the top 45 large cap listed companies. The figures quoted by analysts and displayed by news outlets are the main benchmark figures for the economy and exchange as a whole.

Commonly known companies listed in the exchange include HSBC Holdings, Air China, Espirit Holdings and China Mobile.