South America supports a thriving and growing trade and market capitalization market, with new and established stock markets operating in nearly every country. While many only operate on a national level, some trade internationally, and some like the BM&F Bovespa of Brazil are among the largest in the world. With market capital often coming from international trade, economics and exports, South America’s stock markets trade immense amounts of capital with few listings, which is a phenomena not often seen in more industrial and business based markets in North American and Europe. While there are over 15 noteworthy South American stock exchanges, and multiple more unnoteworth ones, the following include the largest on the continent.
Largest Stock Exchanges in South America
Colombia Stock Exchange:The Colombia Stock Exchange or Colombian Securities Exchange (BVC) is the result of a merger between three Colombian exchanges, resulting in a market capital of 200 billion USD. This merger took place in 2001, and quickly moved the Colombian Stock Exchange into one of the largest in Latin America. Today, it is the fourth largets thanks to its market capital, but with only 89 listings, it is not the largest in terms of volume. The exchange has offices in Bogota, Medellin, and Cali, but also has training centers in over 19 Colombian cities. While primarily financing production through investment and foreign investment, the exchange also offers stocks and brokers deals from Peru, Chili, and Peru to the rest of the world, through the Latin American Market (MILA) offering equities trading from all three countries.
Santiago Stock Exchange:The Santiago Stock Exchange, Bolsa de Comercio de Santiago (SSE) is the third largest stock exchange in South America. The exchange is the primary market in Chile, and has 268 listings. The exchange has a market cap of $269 billion. A unique three indices system allows the Santiago Stock Exchange to easily organize their offerings. These include the General Stock Price Index, which is a market-capital weighted index with a price variation measurement system, classifying stock based on activity, and is revised annually. The Selective Stock Price Index includes 40 of the most heavily traded stocks, and is revised quarterly. The Inter-10 Index includes the 10 most frequently internationally traded stocks, and is revised quarterly. The index also trades Futures on the IPSA in USD.
Mexican Stock Exchange:The Mexican Stock Exchange is confusingly named for foreigners, going by trade names including Mexican Stock Exchange, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV: BOLSA) and BOLSA, MEXBOL, and BOLSA IPC, depending on where you look, but make up Mexico’s only primary stock exchange. The exchange is the second largest in South America with a total market capital of $526.197 billion in USD in November of 2014. This capital also places them as the fifth largest in the Americas. The primary function of the market is to push growth and development, and has several unique regulations regarding trade and standards within Mexico. In 2014, the Mexico Stock Exchange became the 12th exchange to join the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. While the Mexico Stock Exchange only has 143 listings, it has a trade volume of $12.08 billion in USD and trades with multiple countries including Chili, Columbia, and Peru.
BM&F Bovespa:The BM&F Bovespa is the largest stock exchange in South American and the eight largest in the world by trade volume. The BM&F Bovespa is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil and trades with local and international markets, including Peru. The Bovespa represents the most important stock exchange in South America for multiple reasons. In 2011 it was valued at $1,198 Billion in USD, but has since reached $122 trillion. They have 365 listings, and trade in Brazilian real. With offices around the world, including Shanghai and New York, Brazil’s Bovespa is a stock exchange to pay attention to.
While the largest stock exchanges in South America play a large role in foreign trading, there are more than a dozen other marketplaces in Latin America. Many of them are from rapidly expanding economies, and are sure to shift in status and size fairly quickly. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to markets as they expand, merge and shift. The 2001 merger in Colombia dramatically changed their stock exchange market, and the same could easily happen again with any of South American’s marketplaces.
South America’s stock exchanges stand out for their intriguing market capital and expansion possibilities, which could rapidly expand at any moment thanks to global economics and trade with agriculture, industry, and local business investments all expanding.
South America Fund aims to invest in publicly traded companies participating in South American Markets.
South American Stocks – Mutual Funds
Blackrock Latin American Fund Stock Quote
Aberdeen Latin America Equity Fund ALAMEA2:LX
AMC Latinac Fund GERLATI:SW
Amundi Latin America Fund GANK:GR
AYF Latin America Equity Fund AYLATEQ:TB
T. Rowe Price Latin American Fund Stock Quote
Fidelity Latin American Fund Stock Quote
JP Morgan Latin American Fund Stock Quote
Santiago Stock Exchange
Guayaquil Stock Exchange, Ecuador