Borsa Italiana celebrates 200 years of history

On 16th January 1808, a vice-royal decree promulgated by Eugenio Napoleone officially inaugurated the “Borsa di Commercio” in Milan

In 2008, Borsa Italiana reaches its 200th anniversary: on 16th January 1808, a vice-royal decree promulgated by Eugenio Napoleone officially inaugurated the “Borsa di Commercio” (commodities exchange) in Milan, which at that time was the capital of the Kingdom of Italy under the government of Napoleon I.

Founded in the same years as the Napoleonic Code of Civil Rights and Trade, the Stock Exchange, over its two hundred years’ history, has reflected the country’s economic and financial developments, recording its periods of growth and its moments of crisis, and evolving from a local to a national, and then international, exchange.

2008 will also see the celebration of two other anniversaries in the Italian securities market: the tenth anniversary of Borsa Italiana SpA, founded in 1998 by the privatization of financial markets in Italy, and the thirtieth anniversary of Monte Titoli Spa, founded in 1978, and constituting the national centralized securities depository for all the financial tools contemplated by Italian legislation.

For the celebration of the Bicentenary, Borsa Italiana has planned many events for 2008, which will be branded with the new commemorative logo (attached).

The Bicentenary celebrations will be officially opened with an event held in Milan in February 2008 at Palazzo Mezzanotte, in the presence of the highest institutional figures of the Italian State, representatives of the financial community from Italy and abroad, and of the principal international stock exchanges.

From December 2007, the website, as well as comprising a section dedicated to the Bicentenary, provides access to the “History Tour” portal, created in cooperation with Milan’s Centro per la Cultura d’Impresa (Business culture centre), enabling visitors to view a multi-media presentation illustrating the history of the Stock Exchange from its origins up until the present day.

Chronological, geographical and thematic sequences will provide a guide to the visitor, who can explore the various historical phases, the original locations of stock exchanges in Italian cities, and the personalities who were important in their development. Furthermore, explanations of the hand-signals in the days when brokers still used the open outcry system on the trading floor are given, with the successive methods of trading, and illustrations of the first listed securities; accompanied by texts, photographs, historical documents and film sequences – some of which date back to the first decades of the 20th century.

In cooperation with Il Sole24 Ore, a guide to MIFID, the European Directive on the financial instruments market, to be applied by traders from 1st November 2007, will be published. In Instant Book format, the guide will be distributed free with the daily newspaper, with a print run of 450,000 copies.

A book on the Italian stock exchange will be published, again by Il Sole 24 Ore, edited by Ferruccio De Bortoli and Fabio Tamburini, containing interviews with personalities from the economic and financial community both in Italy and abroad.

Poste Italiane, Italy’s postal company, will create a stamp commemorating the 200th anniversary of the stock exchange, printing over three and a half million copies.

In addition, an art competition for young people on the theme of the “Stock Exchange” will be held; conferences will be run for local business people encouraging them to list their companies; scholarships and master courses will be offered; and visits will be organized to the architectural complex of Palazzo Mezzanotte.

The Borsa Italiana website will provide updates and programmes for all the events.

In October 2008, Borsa Italiana will host the 48th General Assembly and Annual Meeting of the WFE (World Federation of Exchanges), for which Borsa Italiana holds the presidency for the two-year period 2007-2008. The event, which symbolically closes the Bicentenary year, will be held at Palazzo Mezzanotte, bringing together the top figures of all the 54 member stock exchanges, as well as personalities from the world of international finance.

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