The Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo Børs) serves as the main market for trading in the shares of Norwegian companies. In additional to a wide range of domestic companies, the OSE attracts a lot of international companies within petroleum, shipping and other related areas.
The Oslo Stock Exchange started life as Christiania Børs in 1819. In the beginning, there was no organized listing or stock exchange; the Børs served as a meeting place for investors auctioning ships, shares in ships, commodities, and foreign currencies. Stocks and bonds only started trading on the exchange in 1881. In 1988, the exchange introduced an electronic trading support system, and replaced the old auction model with continuous trading of listed shares throughout the day. Trading became fully electronic in 1999 and the trading floor was discontinued.
The OBX Index is a list of the 25 most liquid companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange main index. The companies have their own index common OBX index. All stocks on the OBX list can be traded with options and futures which are listed on the SOLA derivative platform. The companies on the OBX list are rotated twice a year, on the third Friday of June and December.
The Oslo Stock Exchange remained a self-owning institution until 2001 when it converted into a joint stock company and offered shares to the public in an IPO. DnB NOR now owns 18% of the company, with the rest of the shares held mostly by many foreign and domestic investors. On October 6, 2006, the larger market and pan-Scandinavian stock exchange group OMX acquired a 10% strategic stake.