Financial markets: trading venues: equity exchanges
An equity exchange is a venue where brokers and other traders can buy and sell shares, bonds and other securities. The trading of securities has traditionally been on stock exchanges, but the introduction of the concept of a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) in 2007 has greatly increased competition in the market, providing buyers and sellers of securities a wider range of trading platforms to consider.
For a security to be traded on a particular stock exchange or MTF, it must be ‘listed’ there. See STSM071000 for more information on the listing of shares.
Trading on most exchanges can only be done by members of that exchange. Members will include banks, investment and insurance companies and brokers, who buy and sell securities either on behalf of their clients or for their own purposes.
It is not normally possible for private individuals to deal directly on an exchange; they would need to employ a broker to do it for them.
Trading on most exchanges is now done electronically, although on some exchanges, e.g. The New York Stock Exchange, trading is still done on the trading floor.