The Warsaw Stock Exchange was established on 12 April 1991 under the Law on Public Trading in Securities and Trust Funds, but it did not hold its first trading session until 16 April 1991.
The main business activity of the Warsaw Stock Exchange is to operate an exchange of financial instruments, property rights, rights to exchange commodities or other activities in organising trading in such instruments, rights or exchange commodities and other activities connected with such trading. In addition, the Warsaw Stock Exchange is involved in education, promotion and information activities related to the operation of the capital market, as well as the organisation of an alternative trading system.
The Warsaw Stock Exchange Group operates in the financial and commodity markets. The activity of the WSE Group in the commodity market is focused on the Polish Power Exchange and the Warsaw Commodity Clearing House. The scope of activity of the WSE in the financial market comprises trading in shares, derivative instruments, debt instruments and other financial instruments, as well as support of issuers in respect of introduction to trading and listing of financial instruments and sale of information.
The WSE Group organises and operates trading on, among others, the WSE Main Market, NewConenct and Catalyst.
The Main Market is a regulated market where shares, rights to shares, pre-emptive rights, investment certificates, subscription warrants, titles, ETFs, structured products and derivatives are traded. There are two markets within it:
- NewConnect is a market for small and medium-sized companies that operates off the regulated market under the alternative trading system formula. NewConnect trades in shares, rights to shares, and subscription rights, but may also trade in other equity financial instruments. The aim of its business is to support companies in raising capital for their further development, particularly in the high-tech sector. Trading is conducted in a continuous quotation system.
- Catalyst is a market where corporate, municipal, co-operative and treasury bonds as well as mortgage bonds are traded in a continuous trading system (the Exchange leads a retail segment, including a regulated market and a market operating under the alternative trading system formula).
As of June 8th 2022, 421 companies are listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, of which 45 are foreign and 324 companies are listed on the main market. Their total capitalization is PLN 1,159,225.77 million, of which 50% of the value is accounted for by Polish companies and the other half by foreign companies. The New Connect market lists 382 companies, including 4 foreign companies. Their total capitalization amounts to PLN 15,993.91 million, of which foreign companies account for less than 1%.