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The Amsterdam Exchange index (AEX) is a capitalisation-weighted stock market index that follows the performance of the top 25 most traded securities on Euronext Amsterdam. It is the most commonly used indicator for the performance of the Dutch stock market.
Find a brief summary of the index’s history, its selection process, and the options you have in terms of investing in the AEX index.
The AEX index began on 3rd January 1983 – when it was known as the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. The index began at a base level of 100 index points, and peaked at 703.18 on 5th September 2001. This rise in the early 2000s was driven by the dotcom bubble, the subsequent bursting of which saw the AEX fall below 300 by the end of 2001.
After showing a strong recovery throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century, the index fell sharply again in 2008 amid the global financial crash, and a similar story emerged in relation to the coronavirus epidemic – which saw the AEX’s largest ever one-day loss when the index closed nearly 11% down on March 12th 2020.
The story of the early twenty-first century for the AEX is one of resilience and rebuilding in the wake of crises, and it is a good indicator of the strength of the Dutch economy to deliver growth in the wake of major world events.
The stocks that make up the AEX index are carried out quarterly, with a full annual review of the index being carried out each March. The 23 companies with the highest turnover on Euronext Amsterdam are automatically included on the AEX exchange, with a further two companies selected out of the 24th-27th highest turnover companies selected at the annual March review (preference is given to companies that already feature on the index).
There is no automatic replacement of shares that are removed from the index until the next scheduled review date. If for instance the stocks of one of the selected companies become delisted or a company undergoes an acquisition, their slot on the index will be vacant until the next quarterly review – this is the only circumstance under which new stocks enter the index outside of the annual review in March.
Investing in an index fund is done using a financial instrument called an Index ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund). Essentially what these products enable investors to do is track a specific basket of stocks – like an index fund – but in a way that can be traded on an exchange.
You can buy and trade a variety of Index ETFs relating to the performance of the AEX index, and many investors are big fans of these financial instruments as they offer traders easy access to diversified investments.