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Stock Exchange is a market in which securities are bought and sold. There are stock exchanges in most capital cities, as well as in the largest provincial cities in many countries, and over twenty in Britain. The principal stock exchange in Britain is known as the Stock Exchange, and is located in the City of London; the New York Stock Exchange is located in and is known as Wall Street. Continental European exchanges are often referred to as Bourses. The economic importance of stock exchanges is that they facilitate saving and investment, first, through making it possible for investors to dispose of securities quickly if they wish to do so and, secondly, in channeling savings into productive investments. Stock exchanges have their own rules and convention, but their functioning depends also on the existence of company and other law and financial intermediaries, such as the issuing houses.

The British Stock Exchange, founded in 1773, developed from informal exchanges in coffee houses in the City of London. It is managed by a council of members. There are some 3,500 members, who alone may deal or even enter the floor of the exchange.

Stockbrokers are as agents for the public and buy from and sell to jobbers. Members are formed into a declining number of companies and there are now only 192 broking firms and 91 jobbing firms on the London Exchange. Business is conducted entirely by word of mouth and although jobbers and brokers keep their own registers and may record details of a “bargain” on the official list, they are not obliged to do so. Even there are no official statistics of the volume of transactions, although prices at the exchange are widely available in the press. The market value of the securities quoted on the exchange is about ₤120 billion, of which rather more than half are foreign securities.

Index numbers indicating changes in the average prices of shares on the Stock Exchange are called share indices. The indices are constructed by taking a selection of shares and “weighing” the percentage changes in prices together as an indication of aggregate movements in share prices. Roughly speaking, a share index shows percentage changes in the market value of a portfolio compared with its value in the base year of the index. Index numbers are published by several daily papers and weekly journals.


1. What is stock exchange?

2. Where is the British Stock Exchange located?

3. What is the economic importance of stock exchange?

4. What does the functioning of stock exchanges depend on?

5. What do share indices indicate?

6. Where can you find index numbers?


Will Internet commerce ever really work? Will people buy products and services using information and buying constructs provided on Web pages? Will this process turn electronic commerce into a viable business platform? And if so, when?

The Internet is new – well, sort of – but electronic commerce is not. We’ve been engaging in it for years, mostly in the form of banking and credit transactions. Wire transfer transactions have been around almost since the invention of the telegraph. More important, credit card transactions have been electronically – and telephonically processed for years. And then there is that most visible of all electronic commerce mechanisms, the ATM (automated teller machine – банкомат).

(…) There is no clear connection between the banking industry’s spotty ATM performance and commerce on the Internet, but you might want to consider some cultural implications. First, getting people to accept e-commerce as a way of life may take a while. The Internet is still in acceptance mode, but more important, people just don’t accept new financial mechanisms very quickly. Vendors on the Web need to be patient with their investments and not go around shutting their doors as IBM did recently when it decided to close its World Avenue mail.

Second, not all types of commerce will work electronically. Some things, such as Amazon’s greatly successful book order service, work well and will generate serious competition for the likes of Barnes and Noble. And industries such as travel, investment, and retail catalogs will be accepted relatively quickly because people are used to handling those transactions on the telephone.


1. Is e-commerce something new for people?

2. Is there any connection between the banking industry’s spotty ATM performance and e-commerce?

3. Why do people not trust e-commerce?

4. What types of commerce are suitable to work electronically?

5. What will ensure the success of the Web vendors?


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