BEL 20: 20 years and counting

Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris, 18 March 2011 - NYSE Euronext today celebrated the 20th anniversary of the BEL 20 index with Bell-ringing ceremonies organized across its European markets.

The BEL 20 index was launched on 18 March 1991 with a base value of 1,000 on December 31, 1990. The BEL 20 index is an example of a new generation of indices containing a limited basket of representative stocks. With a sample of 20 stocks, it is designed to be representative of the entire market and to act as a real-time indicator of the local market trend. At the same time, it is a tradable and simple instrument allowing investors to hedge the entire Belgian market.

The current BEL 20 constituents are: AB InBev, Ackermans & van Haaren, Ageas, Befimmo, Bekaert, Belgacom, Cofinimmo, Colruyt, Delhaize Group, Dexia, GBL, GDF Suez, KBC Group, Mobistar, Compagnie Nationale de Portefeuille, Omega Pharma, Solvay, Telenet Group, UCB and Umicore.

"Soon after its launch 20 years ago, the BEL 20 rapidly secured its position as the benchmark for the Brussels market," comments Vincent Van Dessel, CEO of NYSE Euronext in Brussels. "Since its launch, the market capitalization of the index has grown eightfold, while its current liquidity is five times higher than a decade ago. Nowadays, the BEL20 index is an internationally recognized benchmark, considered the symbol of the local stock market."

At NYSE Euronext in Brussels, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Didier Reynders rang the Opening Bell in the presence of almost all the CEOs and/or Chairmen of the current BEL20 companies and Philippe Maystadt, the President of the European Investment Bank and former Minister of Finance. Jean Peterbroeck, the Chairman of Petercam and ‘spiritual father' of the index, also participated at this Bell Ceremony.

The other NYSE Euronext Bell ringing included:

  • Amsterdam: Opening Bell with Franck Geerkens, Belgian Ambassador to the Netherlands
  • Paris: Opening Bell with Patrick Vercauteren Drubbel, Belgian Ambassador to France
  • Lisbon: Closing Bell with Jean-Michel Veranneman de Watervliet, Belgian Ambassador to Portugal
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