The term regional stock exchange is used to refer to a stock exchange which is not the main stock exchange of the country in which it is located in terms of market capitalization and transaction volume.
Regional exchanges may host primary listings of companies which do not have a high enough market capitalization to list on a major exchange, or are not able to meet the stringent regulatory requirements of major exchanges. They may also host secondary listings of stocks whose primary listing is on a major exchange in order to attract investment from regional investors.
Differences in exchange rules and pricing may also be a reason for companies to choose a regional exchange for their primary listing or to hold a secondary listing on a regional exchange.
The Berne Exchange (BX) is an example of a regional stock exchange which hosts primary listings of mid-cap stocks, and secondary listings of high-cap stocks with primary listings on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX). The Berne exchange also lets traders invest in securities using Swiss francs, eliminating the cost of changing Swiss francs into U.S. dollars and thus delivering a value added service.
The main stock exchange in Germany in terms of primary listings and trade volume is the Börse Frankfurt. However, regional exchanges like the Börse Stuttgart, Börse Düsseldorf, Börse München, Hamburger Börse and Börse Berlin also play an important role in the German stock market.
In some cases regional exchanges specialize in securities other than stocks, such as futures, options and derivatives. The Börse Stuttgart, for example, is Germany’s largest certificate exchange, but has a lower stock trading volume than the Börse Frankfurt. The Börse Berlin lists foreign stocks, giving German investors access to foreign markets.
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