An institution through which company shares and government stock are traded. Originally the exchange would be a building, where traders gathered and trade proceeded either by individual negotiation or by ‘open outcry’, where prices bid and offered were announced out loud so as to inform all traders within earshot. Modern stock exchanges are institutions with traders linked by computer networks and telephones. Stock exchanges have rules about the information companies have to provide for their shares to be listed, the individuals or firms allowed to trade, the notification of trades carried out, and the procedure for settlement, that is, actual delivery of shares and money payments. There are stock exchanges in all major world commercial centres, such as Frankfurt, London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo.