The history of Borsa: the privatization (1998-2008)
Privatisation of the market
The last act of the reform was to privatise the market, passing the management role from a body like the Stock Exchange Board (Consiglio di Borsa) that was still state-controlled to a private entity in the form of a società per azioni (joint-stock company), namely, Borsa Italiana Spa, owned by the main Italian banks. Borsa Italiana began to operate during a strong rallying period for listings, accompanied by trading volumes that were constantly on the rise. In 1999, the New Market was established based on the model of the New York NASDAQ, which lists high-technology companies.
Borsa Italiana, which immediately distinguished itself on the European scene for the advanced state of its technological platforms, has operated over the past years according to two guiding strategies. On the one hand, it has intervened in the structure of the markets, with new segmentation to improve the diversification of the offer; on the other, it has placed attention on the needs of the financial community by putting itself forward as a source of services and information, both through its website and at in-depth conferences and meetings.
Borsa Italiana, from Company to Group
During its first ten years, Borsa Italiana has gone from a single market management company to a diversified group in the financial services field. The group has been formed from 2000 to today through the acquisition of already existing companies and the formation of new ones.
Notable acquisitions include Cassa di compensazione & garanzia, in 2000, and Monte Titoli in 2002. Some of the companies that Borsa Italiana has formed include Piazza Affari Gestione e Servizi (PAGS), Servizio Titoli SpA and BIt Systems, created as a joint-venture in 2001 and now 100%-owned by Borsa Italiana. The last member of the group is MBE Holding, through which Borsa Italiana owns MTS, the electronic platform for the wholesale trading of private and government bonds.
The International Scene
Borsa Italiana's first decade has unfolded on an international scene characterised by the tendency toward economic, financial and institutional integration that emerged during the previous decade.
The first aspect is closely connected with the organisation of stock exchanges. Given the continual interdependency between the markets, which has generated a planetary securities market, they must be accessible to foreign investors and intermediaries and may no longer be restricted to rigid hours of operation.
The second point involves the international role of Borsa Italiana and its strategy for alliances and partnerships with foreign entities in order to best place the Italian market in the global financial marketplace. The company's CEO has acted as president of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) in 2004 and 2006, and as president of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE/formerly FIBV) since 2006. The most recent step in this process concerns the alliance with the London Stock Exchange and the entry of Borsa Italiana into the largest European group in the sector.