The origins of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) date back to the mid-1800s when the discovery of gold started a series of rushes that greatly expanded Australia’s population, boosted its economy and changed the course of the continent’s history.
The incredible economic and social transformation led to investment opportunities in banking, and rail and road transport. These prospects led Edward Khull (1805-1884), who described himself as a “Stock and Share Broker”, to publish the first Melbourne stock and share list in the Argus newspaper on 18 October 1852.
This was the first stock listing in Australia and led to the formation of the Melbourne Brokers Association, which traded from a rented space in the Hall of Commerce on Collins Street from 1859 and remained there until 1880. It was Australia’s first stock exchange. Although Khull was not prominent in the negotiations leading to the formation of Melbourne’s Stock Exchange in April 1861 he was one of its foundation members.
During that period five other exchanges were established in the capital cities of the British colonies in Australia- Sydney, New South Wales (1871), Hobart, Tasmania (1882), Brisbane, Queensland (1884), Adelaide, South Australia (1887) and Perth, Western Australia (1889).
(Photograph of Collins Street, Melbourne ca. 1883. Shows buildings including the Oriental Bank Corporation and the Stock Exchange)
The exchanges met on an informal basis until 1937 when the Australian Associated Stock Exchanges (AASE) was established, with representatives from each exchange. Over time, the AASE established uniform listing rules, broker rules, and commission rates.
A new national trading body, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) was formed on 1 April 1987 through incorporation under legislation of the Australian Parliament which enabled the amalgamation of the six independent stock exchanges that formerly operated in the states’ capital cities.
In 2006 the Australian Stock Exchange merged with the Sydney Futures Exchange and originally operated under the name Australian Securities Exchange. Later, however, ASX launched a new group structure to better position it in the contemporary financial market environment.
From 1 August 2010 the Australian Securities Exchange has been known as the ASX Group. As an integrated exchange group, ASX offers a full suite of services ,including listings, trading, clearing and settlement, across a comprehensive range of asset classes like equities, fixed income, commodities and energy.
It also provides data and technology services to intermediaries, banks, information vendors and software developers. Recognised as world-leading and innovative, ASX contributes to the growth of the Australian economy, helps companies grow and investors build wealth.
In December 2017, the ASX announced that it would replace CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Subregister System), its existing software used for the clearing and settlement of equity transactions with a distributed ledger, becoming the first stock exchange in the world to build an infrastructure around blockchain technology.
The ASX is headquartered in Sydney and also operates offices across Australia (Melbourne, Perth), as well as in key international markets including Hong Kong, London and Chicago.
Dominic Stevens (CEO)
Mr Stevens serves as Managing Director and CEO of ASX since August 2016. He was an independent non-executive director of ASX from December 2013 until his appointment as CEO. Prior to ASX, he was the CEO and Managing Director of Challenger, Australia’s largest provider of annuities, having previously held senior roles overseeing Challenger’s capital, risk management and strategy.
Phone: +61 2 9227 0000
Address: Exchange Centre, 20 Bridge St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia