Exchange highlights success of first European Blue Chip Index and opens consultation with stakeholders on index methodology
Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, London and Paris – 4 March 2013: Today the AEX-Index®, the well-known measure of the performance of securities on NYSE Euronext’s Amsterdam Exchange, celebrates its 30th birthday. The AEX® was introduced on 4 March 1983, and was the first national Blue Chip Index in Europe.
The AEX-Index is made up of the 25 most actively traded securities on the Amsterdam exchange. It contains companies from the top segment of the market, including multinationals such as Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, ING Groep, Royal Philips Electronics and ArcelorMittal. The AEX measures performance and market sentiment in the Netherlands, and offers international exposure to companies included in the index. In order to continue to maintain this high standard from the past 30 yearsa consultation will be heldwithstakeholders in the coming months to assess whether the current methodology will fully meet the requirements of the next 30 years.
The AEX-Index was specifically launched so that derivatives such as options and futures could be traded on it. The number of product types traded on the index however has expanded considerably over the years, and there are currently more than 1,000 products linked to the AEX. The past five years have seen a 238% rise in the number of products, and in comparison with ten years ago there are 900% more products. Every day an average of 85,000 AEX options (one-month, one-week and one-day options) and 45,000 AEX futures* change hands on the NYSE Euronext’s Amsterdam exchange. Over the years new variations of the AEX have also been developed, including the AEX® Equal Weight and the AEX® Low Risk.
“The AEX-Index has been inextricably linked to the Amsterdam exchange for 30 years,” said Cees Vermaas, CEO of NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.“Our best known index is made up of prominent international businesses, an indication of the Amsterdam exchange’s position at the heart of the international capital markets. The AEX is an exceptionally tradable index, helping its companies to raise their profile in dealings with national and international investors. This year we are proud to celebrate the 30thanniversary of the AEX here at its home at Beursplein 5.”
According to Jan Maarten Slagter, Chairman of the Dutch Shareholder Association (VEB),“The AEX brings the exchange closer to the public; one figure as an indication of the mood of the Amsterdam market is ready for publication in news bulletins and the economic sections of newspapers. The AEX has become an irreplaceable Dutch institution. Congratulations!”
In 1983, Tjerk Westerterp, who was then director of the options exchange, compiled the first index on the back of a cigar box while he travelled by train from Liege to Luxembourg. He settled on 13 securities: ABN Bank, Ahold, Akzo, Amro Bank, Gist-Brocades, Heineken, Hoogovens, KLM, Royal Dutch, Nationale Nederlanden, Philips, Unilever and Nedlloyd. The index was first called the EOE-Index (European Options Exchange). It later expanded to include 20 securities, and finally 25. Of the original list of thirteen companies, nine are still included in the index, either in the same form or as part of a merged company.
Today’s opening ceremony is entirely dedicated to the celebration of the index’s 30th anniversary.
* Average figure over the past three years.