Itomos Commodity Exchange (ICE)
ICE is Ioudaia's only commodity market, and has been since its founding in 1758. All common industrial and agricultural commodities are traded on ICE's virtual trading floor, even those neither produced nor used in Ioudaia. ICE's electronic trading floor simply became too useful for companies and investors for it to worry about national borders. Virtual market seats are available to qualified companies, and many more individuals and corporations trade through brokers who have a seat.
Precious metals: silver, gold, platinum, palladium
Industrial metals: aluminum/aluminum ore, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc
Iron, steel, and ferro-alloying metals: iron (new, scrap, and ore), mild steel (new and scrap), steel rebar (by grade), chromium, manganese, vanadium
Energy: coal (by grade), natural gas (at various pipeline terminals, either as gas or liquified, depending on the terminal), crude oil, refined petroleum fuels (by fraction and grade: gasoline, heating oil, kerosene/diesel/turbine fuel, heavy fuels)
Agricultural products (plant): barley, cocoa, coffee, corn, cotton, soybeans, rice, sugar, wheat; plant oils (canola, corn, palm)
Agricultural products (animal): live cattle, feeder cattle, beef; hogs, pork bellies; live sheep, mutton; goats, goat meat; animal hides, wool
Financials: commodity futures, options, and derivatives; large company stock futures, options, and derivatives, both Ioudaian and foreign
When ICE was founded in 1758, it was simply known as the Itomos Market, and it traded only grains and metals. The then-recent completion of Ioudaia's canal system placed Itomos at the center of an extensive trading network, moving grains from producing areas in the Krenet Valley, Jolgeh Asvat, and Aloadia to the rapidly growing cities, and moving metals from producing areas to the industrial centers in and around Shariyath and Chyrtiros.
The development of the steamboat only strengthened Itomos' position, as barge and riverboat traffic expanded in Ioudaia, and the Itomos Market began to trade in a wider variety of goods. The Market's range of goods grew further with the development of the railroad, as Itomos became a railroad hub as well, one of the region's first intermodal transfer points. Commodity futures and options trading became formalized at roughly the same time.
During the 20th century, the Itomos Market began offering trades on international commodities, as increasingly reliable sea travel offered Ioudaia's companies and investors new options for buying and selling goods. This hugely expanded the variety of trades available, as goods no longer ever had to be present in Ioudaia to settle delivery contracts. To reflect this growth, the Market changed its name.
ICE adopted new trading technologies as they became available, from pagers, PDAs, telephone trades, and now finally all-electronic trading. ICE's last open-outcry trading floor closed in 2008. As a fitting coda to the history of open-outcry commodity trading, it traded barley, one of ICE's first goods.
The Ornemion Bourse is Ioudaia's main stock market, trading in listed large and small company stocks, both foreign and domestic. Large foreign stocks include both those listed on the Bourse and those listed in their home countries. The Bourse also trades in domestic small company stock derivatives, such as futures and options. It also provides seat-holders tools and market-making to set up more sophisticated positions, such as hedges and straddles.
Ioudaia's securities regulations provide potential buyers of Bourse-listed stocks with a wide range of information about companies: detailed financial reports with standardized accounting principles, statements of ownership and management, and disclosure of managerial and directorial compensation. Ioudaia's laws also guarantee shareholders specific guarantees about corporate governance, including shareholder control of compensation ("say on pay") and the ability for groups of shareholders to easily bring issues to vote, even against the wishes of companies' managers and directors.
Ioudaian securities law regards foreign stocks as inherently risky and not suitable for small investors without warnings, disclaimers, and waivers. Consequently, Ioudaian law requires foreign stocks traded in Ioudaia to merely provide annual standardized balance-sheet and cash-flow reports along with annual statements of large owners. Other information about foreign companies, and regulation of foreign companies' corporate governance, is available solely according to the company's home government's laws.
Listed Companies with Trading Symbols:
Gatpatugozhad-Thaunakie Motors (GΘ)
Jolly Bakers (JOLLY)
SLAe Systems (SLA)
Smoothride Tire Company (SMOOT)
STKL Neosemi (STKL)
Wilcox-Aeyers Aerospace (WAA)
Zeteomos Dye Works (ZDW)
Zephyr Electronics (ZPHR)
The Ornemion Bourse was founded in 1791, as Ornemion developed into a major trade port, and new companies sprang up in the city. The Bourse was at the time one of several stock exchanges in Ioudaia, as slow intercity communications required buyers and sellers to be in the same place to trade.
This changed with the invention of the telegraph and the growth of Ioudaia's telegraph network. Telegraphy led to competition between cities' stock markets, and with later development of the radiotelegraph and telephone, led to several rounds of market consolidation, as both stock buyers and sellers sought the largest markets to trade on. By 1920, the Ornemion Bourse was the smallest of Ioudaia's Big Three stock exchanges, as it struggled to make inroads as against the regional stockmarkets in the north.
In 1986, the Bourse became the first Ioudaian stock market to list small company stocks, taking advantage of the Ministry of Science and Technology's push to expand the country's technological base to more regions than just Jolgeh Asvat. Previously, small company shares were traded over the counter, and regarded as very risky, even for professional investors. The Bourse brought both market-making to small company stocks and some regulation, increasing liquidity and reducing risk. In 1989, the Six Kings passed further regulation of small stocks, decreasing investor risk further.
After that, the Ornemion Bourse grew quickly, as both professional and individual investors were attracted to the large returns small companies, especially small high-tech companies, could provide. The Bourse shrewdly started offering derivatives of small stocks as soon as the national regulations took effect. This made them the largest market for small companies, which were now being founded or going public quickly. In 2001, the Bourse began to list foreign small-company stocks as well, and Ioudaian investors flocked to them as well.
In 2003, the Bourse merged with the Northeast Stock Exchange, leaving only the Shariyath Stock Market in distant second place. Since then, the Shariyath Stock Exchange has conceded everything but local stocks, with a specialization in the smallest publicly-traded companies.
Ornemion Merchants' Bank
As Ioudaia's leading business bank, Ornemion Merchant's Bank has been providing services for international commerce for hundreds of years. It offers a full range of financial products tailored to the needs of companies doing business overseas.
Credit services: term loans, lines of credit, import-export financing, business credit cards, corporate bond-issue services including market-making
International payment services: foreign exchange, correspondent accounts, overseas branches, bank drafts, electronic money transfer (both foreign and domestic), escrow services.
Cash-management services: corporate savings and checking accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts (both foreign and domestic)
Ornemion Merchants' Bank also operates the Specialty Metals Exchange, trading every metal not listed on the IME, and providing small lots, buying and selling in quantifies between 1kg and 1,000kg, even of IME-listed metals. The Specialty Metals Exchange has a network of warehouses in Ioudaia and in international cities where the Bank has branches. So, the Exchange also provides market-making services out of its own inventory, as well as futures and options on metals it trades in.
Ornemion Merchants' Bank emerged out of a long series of mergers, some predating modern Ioudaia's founding. The earliest documented root has been traced back to the Dalassenos banking family, who were active in southern Ioudaia during the Second Kingdom's Silken Age (1171-92).
The Bank dates its "modern" history from Sarpedon ben Meydad's 1786 discoveries about the winds and currents in the nearby Coronikos Channel and Pasiphaeos Strait. With his analysis in hand, sailing ships could safely reach Kolpos Thelikos (Thelos Bay) and Ornemion's harbor, even in bad weather. Since the Bay is itself sheltered from the weather, Ornemion's overseas trade rapidly grew from then.
The Bank's first international service was providing letters of credit to the city's merchants, allowing them to draw on the Bank's gold and silver without the difficulty and risk of carrying coins or bullion themselves. The Bank then felt it only natural to open overseas branches, each storing some precious metals in its vault in order to speed payments (and of course profit from interest and fees on the letters of credit). They thus provided one of the region's first international payments systems. This quite simply made Ornemion Merchants' Bank filthy rich, and fueled their future expansion.
As international trade become more sophisticated, the Bank offered financial services to match its new needs. Indeed, from 1871 to 1938, their international branches offered coal-trading and bunkering services, to ensure that Ioudaian merchants and shipping lines had the fuel they needed for long voyages.
The Bank's most recent major service expansion was the creation of the Specialty Metals Exchange in 1917, as they discovered that some of their industrial customers were having tremendous difficulties locating alloying metals for the then-new speciality steel market. The SME gradually expanded into more exotic metals at the end of the 20th century.
TAK (Thelos-Averdinas-Kolos) Fish Market
The TAK Fish Market is Ioudaia's newest commodity market, having been founded in 1958 to consolidate the buying and selling of seafood from Ioudaia's large Neleager Sea fishery. By creating a unified market, TAK increased liquidity and offered fishermen and seafood wholesalers and retailers a larger market in which to find counterparties. Initially, trading, seafood availability determination, and price discovery was consolidated via phone lines and teletypes linking the trading floors, but now that's done via a combination of internet services and professional seafood inspectors providing opinions on the day's catch.
Since seafood is the least storable food commodity, TAK largely runs on a cash-and-carry basis, with seafood lots – sometimes even individual large fish of choice species – being auctioned off to buyers in the three cities. However, Ioudaia's sustainable fisheries management laws allow trading of fishing permits, so there is something of a futures and options market, as fishermen, permit brokers, and major seafood customers buy and sell rights to catch specific species. There is even trading of the few "low-take" fishing permits available in Southern Seas Marine Reserve, for fishermen willing to fish under sail, without sonar, and with strict catch and by-catch limits.
TAK also provides sustainable-fishing certification for fish sold at its markets. As consumers are becoming environmentally conscious, TAK's seal of approval creates premium markets for Ioudaia's seafood. TAK's Platinum Seal for low-take-caught tuna and swordfish from the Marine Reserve is especially prized, as few of those fish are ever caught and offered for sale.