The WSE is the biggest financial instruments exchange in Central and Eastern Europe and trades on one of the fastest-growing capital markets in Europe. Polish capital market is a young one, yet it is very well rated. In 2018, the FTSE Russell reclassified the Polish stock market and its instruments into the category of the world's most developed economies.

 

The Ministry of Finance (MF), the WSE and other capital market players cooperate and MF has a regulatory role for their functioning.

 

The Ministry produces draft regulations on the capital market and financial institutions and services in the capital sector.

 

Within its competencies, MF focuses on providing a regulatory environment that enables the WSE to operate in accordance with key rules for the regulated market. This is universal and equal access for investors to information at the same time and equal conditions for the acquisition and exchange of financial instruments.

 

Polish capital market traditions go back to 1817 when the Warsaw Mercantile Exchange was established. Following the overthrow of Poland's former communist regime in 1989, WSE was created as a joint-stock company on April 12, 1991, by the State Treasury pursuant to the Foundation Act for Giełda Papierów Wartościowych w Warszawie SA (The Warsaw Stock Exchange Company).

 

WSE was organised from its inception as a modern stock exchange, supported by electronic trading and dematerialized registration of securities, laying a foundation for ongoing development. WSE held its first trading session on April 16, 1991, with five listed companies, all of which were formerly State-owned companies that had been privatized.

 

In 1999, Poland reformed its pension system, which contributed to an increase in domestic institutional investment, and in 2004 it joined the EU. These developments helped to boost trading volume in subsequent years.

 

In recent years, WSE has become one of Europe's most dynamic IPO markets with 471 companies, including 51 foreign companies, listed on its Main Market, and 431 companies listed on NewConnect as of December 31, 2014. Besides, WSE's derivatives trading platform has grown to become the largest in CEE.