The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) was created by the merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange in July 2006. It is the primary stock exchange group—a form of exchange which provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities—in Australia.
The exchange began as six separate exchanges established in the state capitals: Melbourne (1861), the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, a state of Australia, in the south-east of the country, and the second most populous city in Australia; Sydney (1871), the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales (NSW), a state of Australia, located in the east of the country; Hobart (1882), the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania, an Australian island and state; Brisbane (1884), the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, the second-largest and third most populous state of Australia, located in the northeast of the country, and the third most populous city in Australia; Adelaide (1887), the capital city of South Australia, a state of Australia, located in the southern central part of the country, and the fifth largest city in Australia; and, Perth (1889), the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA), a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. A further exchange in Launceston, a city in the north of the state of Tasmania, Australia at the junction of the North Esk and South Esk rivers where they become the Tamar River, merged into the Hobart exchange.
The first interstate conference was held in 1903 at the Melbourne Cup time, Australia’s major Thoroughbred horse race. The exchanges then met on an informal basis until 1973 when the Australian Associated Stock Exchange (AASE) was established, with representatives from each exchange. Over time, the AASE established uniform listing rules, broker rules, and commission rates.
Trading was conducted by a call system, where an exchange employee called the names of each company and brokers bid or offered on each. In the 1960s, this changed to a post system. Exchange employees called “chalkies” wrote bids and offers in chalk on blackboards/chalkboards continuously, and recorded transactions made.
The ASX (Australian Stock Exchange Limited) was formed in 1987 by legislation of the Australian Parliament which enabled the amalgamation of six independent stock exchanges that formerly operated in the state capital cities. After demutualization, the ASX was the first exchange in the world to have its shares quoted on its own market. The ASX was listed in October 14, 1998. On July 7, 2006, the Australian Stock Exchange merged with SFE Corporation, holding for the Sydney Futures Exchange.