7

Intel is traded under INTC in NASDAQ. Intel is traded under INL in Frankfurt.

What makes this possible? I assume these are the same company and somehow track each other but given the exchanges have different opening times, what processes makes it possible for this to work?

20

A "stock price" is nothing but the price at which some shares of that stock were sold on an exchange from someone willing to sell those shares at that price (or more) to someone willing to buy them at that price (or less).

Pretty much every question about how stock prices work is answered by the paragraph above, which an astonishingly large number of people don't seem to be aware of.

So there is no explicit "tracking" mechanism at all. Just people buying and selling, and if the current going price on two exchanges differ, then that is an opportunity for someone to make money by buying on one exchange and selling on the other - until the prices are close enough that the fees and overhead make that activity unprofitable. This is called "arbitrage" and a common activity of investment banks or (more recently) hedge funds and specialized trading firms spun off by said banks due to regulation.

  • 10
    IOW: the "tracking" mechanism is called "market". – Jörg W Mittag Sep 25 '17 at 12:03
  • But how is it determined that someone actually has Intel shares in the first place on a new exchange? Did Intel decide to be traded on both exchanges and provide a select amount of shares to each or did someone manually move them and have someone delist the shares on one exchange and list them on another? – Coburn Sep 25 '17 at 18:10
  • @Coburn I would guess that they were independent public offerings. – Barmar Sep 25 '17 at 20:01
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    @Coburn: Listing and delisting is something that an exchange does to a stock as a whole, not individual shares. And listing typically requires significant effort from the company, at least for the bigger exchanges. So yes, Intel decided they wanted to be listed on both exchanges. But of course they did not provide shares to be traded, the owners of those shares do. – Michael Borgwardt Sep 25 '17 at 21:23
  • @Coburn: as for how is it determined that someone actually has Intel shares in the first place, ultimately that is determined by a central registry of shares, which is managed either by the company (i.e. Intel) or a separate securities depository organization like Euroclear or DTC. However, orders on a stock exchange have to be placed through a brokerage, and whether and how shares can be transferred between exchanges depends on the brokerage, which would need to be licensed at both exchanges or cooperate with other brokerages, and may demand a fee for this. – Michael Borgwardt Sep 25 '17 at 21:35
5

They don't have to track each other, it could just be listed on more than one exchange.

The price on one exchange does not have to match or track the price on the other exchange.

This is actually quite common, as many companies are listed on two or more exchanges around the world.

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