The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1801, it is one of the largest stock exchanges in the world, with many overseas listings as well as British companies. The exchange is part of the London Stock Exchange Group and so sometimes referred to by the ticker symbol for the group, LSE. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London.
The London Stock Exchange has four core areas:
Equity markets - enables companies from around the world to raise capital. There are four primary markets; Main Market, Alternative Investment Market (AIM), Professional Securities Market (PSM) and Specialist Fund Market (SFM).
Trading services - highly active market for trading in a range of securities, including UK and international equities, debt, covered warrants, exchange traded funds (ETFs), Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs), reits, fixed interest, contracts for difference (CFDs) and depositary receipts.
Information Services - The London Stock Exchange provides real-time prices, news and other financial information to the global financial community.
Derivatives - A major contributor to derivatives business is EDX London, created in 2003 to bring the cash equity and derivatives markets closer together.
The original LSE trading platform, based on Microsoft's .NET framework, was developed by Microsoft and Accenture. Microsoft used the LSE software as an example of the supposed superiority of Windows over Linux in the "Get the Facts" campaign, claiming that the LSE system provided "five nines" reliability. For Microsoft, LSE was a good combination of a highly visible exchange and yet a relatively modest IT problem. After suffering extended downtime and unreliability the LSE announced in 2009 that it was planning to dump Microsoft and switch to Linux in 2010.