History and membership
BX was founded in 1880 as the Berne Bank Association and formalised in 1884 as the Berne Bourse Association (Berner Börsenverein, BBV) by all nine Bernese banks and fourteen private enterprises. It saw a relatively small volume of trading up until World War I. In 2002, BX introduced a fully electronic trading platform with an open, extensible application programming interface (API).
Unlike its competitors in Basel, Geneva and Zurich, it did not participate in the 1995 merger that led to the creation of SWX(Now known as SIX). BX has retained the legal form of a private association under Swiss law, and its members are the major banks operating in Bern, including UBS and Credit Suisse Private Banking.
Berne eXchange is mainly aimed at Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that consider a listing at SWX too big a step or too expensive. The market value of the fifty companies whose stock is traded on the exchange was CHF 11,410,000,000 (USD 9,500,000,000) in 2006, compared to more than CHF 1,000,000,000,000 at SWX.
Notable listed companies include:
- BLS Lötschbergbahn AG, Bern, Switzerland's second-largest railway
- Valiant Holding AG, Bern, a major Swiss regional bank
- BKW FMB Energie AG, Bern, a major Swiss power supplier
- The Swatch Group, Bern, the largest watch manufacturer in the world