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    London Stock Exchange

    One of the oldest stock exchanges in the world, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has roots going back to the seventeenth century, when traders met in coffee houses. In 1973 local exchanges were merged to form what was originally called the Stock Exchange of Great Britain and Ireland, later renamed the London Stock Exchange.

    For many years, those exchange members made deals on the trading floor in London, until technology took over. Today, trading on the LSE takes place via computers, processing more than a million transactions every day.

    The LSE operates in more than one hundred countries, and offers access to both British and overseas securities to investors around the world. It includes around 350 companies from more than 50 countries.

    Officially called the Financial Times Actuaries 100 Index, the FTSE (pronounced “footsie”) 100 index is the most widely tracked stock market index in the world. Launched in 1984, the FTSE tracks the 100 largest blue chip companies listed on the London exchange, representing about 80% of the LSE’s market capitalization.

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