Overview of the São Paulo Stock Exchange

Overview of the São Paulo Stock Exchange

5 Min.

The São Paulo Stock Exchange, also known as BOVESPA, is one of the largest exchanges in the Americas and is now part of B3. Its main indicator is the BOVESPA Index (IBOVESPA), with the symbol BVSP. In addition to trading stocks, BOVESPA also trades over-the-counter commodities.


The São Paulo Stock Exchange, originally founded as Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo in 1890, is now part of B3 SA, which was created in 2008 through the merger of BOVESPA and the Brazilian Mercantile & Futures Exchange, also known as Bolsa de Mercadorias e Futuros. BOVESPA is one of Brazil's top five exchanges and trades over-the-counter commodities. B3 has a strategic partnership with CME Group for cross-listing various financial products.

Trading hours are as follows:

  • Pre-market: 9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. local time.
  • Standard trading: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or 5:15 p.m., depending on the security.

BM&F Bovespa Merger and Partnerships

In 2008, BM&F Bovespa, a major global stock exchange, was created through the merger of BM&F and Bovespa Holding, offering a comprehensive range of services. They partnered with CME Group in 2010, investing in the PUMA Trading System, which transformed the calculation of the Ibovespa Index and expanded into the private fixed market by 2014. However, in 2016, the partnership with CME Group concluded, leading to a merger with CETIP, a for-profit company founded in 2008, with regulatory approval secured in 2017.

Factors Driving the Formation of B3

The formation of B3, a result of merging the São Paulo Stock Exchange and the BM&F, was driven by several key factors. Firstly, it allowed for the expansion of financial products, creating one of the world's largest financial exchanges with a diverse portfolio, including equities, futures, options, commodities, and derivatives.

Additionally, these mergers significantly increased market capitalization, cementing B3's position as a major player in the Latin American financial market and attracting international attention to Brazil as a key investment and trading destination. Moreover, the merger aimed to boost market liquidity and operational efficiency, benefiting investors and participants. After the 2017 merger, the company underwent integration and rebranding to reflect its comprehensive exchange platform.

Trading on the São Paulo Stock Exchange

The São Paulo exchange offers various financial assets, including commodities, futures, and stocks. Companies must follow specific governance rules for their trading segment. Stocks on the exchange are identified by five-character ticker symbols. The first four characters represent the issuer's name in capital letters, and the last character indicates the stock type:

  • 3 for regular stock
  • 4 for preferred stock
  • 5 for preferred class A shares
  • 6 for preferred class B shares
  • 7 for preferred class C stock
  • 8 for preferred class D stock

Settlements occur on T+2 days and stock prices are denominated in Brazilian reals (BRL) with two decimal places. It is also possible for foreign companies to list their shares on the exchange through sponsored Brazilian Depositary Receipts (BDRs).


The IBOVESPA, commonly referred to as the BOVESPA Index, has been a vital performance benchmark for stocks traded on the exchange since its inception in 1968. Over the past five years, it has shown steady growth, increasing from 78,571 BRL on July 16, 2018, to 118,219 BRL on July 17, 2023. Currently, as of July 2023, the BOVESPA Index includes 85 listed companies, making it a key reference point for investors interested in Brazilian equities.

B3's Sustainability Commitment

In 2004, the Global Compact was embraced by B3, making it the first stock exchange in the world to prioritize sustainability. Furthermore, it's an active member of the U.N. Global Compact Brazilian Committee. Since 2017, a B3 representative has served as the vice president of this committee. The Global Compact, a United Nations initiative, encourages the global business community to adopt practices aligning with international standards on human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption efforts. This initiative mandates that companies annually report their progress in adhering to the Ten Principles of the Global Compact through a Communication on Progress (CoP) on the Global Compact's international website.

Collateral Requirements

Exposure limits and margin requirements for exchange use are established by B3. Collateral options include cash, bank CDs, real estate letters of credit, agribusiness letters of credit, and bank letters of credit. In case of an account overdraft, collateral can be seized. B3 offers the integrated LINE 5.0 tool within the PUMA trading platform, enabling participants to establish pre-trading limits and monitor customers in B3-controlled markets. All clients using the trading system are LINE users as user limits are verified before order submission to the trading engine.


São Paulo Stock Exchange, now part of B3, is one of the largest exchanges in the Americas, offering a wide range of financial products and services. Its main indicator, the BOVESPA Index, is a key reference point for investors interested in Brazilian equities. B3's mergers and partnerships have significantly increased market capitalization and boosted market liquidity and operational efficiency. Moreover, B3 is a pioneer in promoting sustainability, making it an attractive destination for socially responsible investors.

Brazilian Mercantile & Futures Exchange (BM&F)
São Paulo Stock Exchange (BOVESPA)
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