companies is similar to that of the London Stock Exchange. There is also an OTC market, which has become more important in recent years. The debt markets (for the debt of government, financial institutions and companies) are also well developed. In the Netherlands , France , Belgium and Portugal the stock exchange is Euronext, which was formed on 22 September 2000 when the exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris merged. Euronext expanded at the beginning of 2002 with the acquisition of LIFFE (London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange) and the merger with the Portuguese exchange BVLP (Bolsa de Valores de Lisboa e Porto). Euronext represents a European cross-border exchange, integrating trading and clearing operations on regulated and non-regulated markets, and was formed in response to the globalisation of capital markets and to create a pan-European exchange offering its participants increased liquidity and lower transaction costs. In April 2007 NYSE Euronext (i.e. the holding
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