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The Warsaw Stock Exchange

Warsaw Stock Exchange

The Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) is one of the largest and most developed stock exchanges in Central and Eastern Europe and one of the most recognised Polish financial institutions. Located in the capital of Poland – Warsaw, the WSE began the activity in its present form on April 16, 1991. Since its inception, the exchange has engaged in electronic trading.

Also known as Giełda Papierów Wartościowych w Warszawie, or GPW in Polish, the exchange operates through two core businesses: the financial and commodity markets. The financial market offers a wide range of instruments for trading, including shares, bonds, subscription rights and allotments, as well as derivative products such as futures, options and index participation units. The exchange lists almost a thousand domestic and foreign issuers' shares and bonds.

The commodity market trades mainly in electricity and is known as one of the most liquid electricity markets in Europe.

Where have you heard about the Warsaw Stock Exchange?

If you ever browsed European markets before, the chances are you may have heard about the WSE stock exchange. Being the largest national financial instruments exchange in the CEE region and one of the fastest-growing in Europe, the Warsaw Stock Exchange continually attracts the attention of many international investors.

What you need to know about the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

The WSE origins date back to 1817 when the former Warsaw Mercantile Exchange was founded. Following the overthrowing of the communist regime in Poland, the Warsaw Stock Exchange was established by the state treasury as a joint-stock company in 1991. The first companies listed on the WSE were Prochnik, Krosno, Tonsil, Exbud and Kable.

After introducing a new pension system in 1999 and joining the EU in 2004, Poland has significantly increased its trading volume. Over the years, the WSE has become one of Europe’s most dynamic markets, boasting of the largest capitalisation of all the exchanges in the CEE region.

The exchange’s stated mission is to develop effective mechanisms of capital and commodity flows; provide competitive exchange and clearing services; ensure the highest standards and safety of trading practices, as well as build an investment culture and support economic growth.

The WSE is open for the following trading sessions on all days of the week except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays declared by the exchange in advance (GMT+1 time zone):

  • pre-market sessions from 08:00 am to 09:00 am;
  • normal trading sessions from 09:00 am to 04:50 pm;
  • post-market sessions from 04:50 pm to 05:00 pm.

Today, the Warsaw Stock Exchange lists around 450 companies, with 400 being domestic and 50 foreign businesses.

The Warsaw Stock Exchange Index, also known as Warszawski Indeks Giełdowy, or WIG, is the most commonly used indicator of the WSE market performance, which is often used as a barometer for the performance of Poland’s economy. Being the oldest index of the WSE, the WIG was introduced on the exchange's first trading session on April 16, 1991. The index base value was 1000 points.

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