FTSE 100 Share Index
The FTSE 100 Index (pronounced footsie) is a share index of the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, begun on January 3, 1984. Component companies must meet a number of requirements set out by the FTSE Group, including having a full listing on the London Stock Exchange with a Sterling or Euro dominated price on SETS, and meeting certain tests on nationality, free float, and liquidity. Trading lasts from 0800-1629 (when the closing auction starts), and closing values are taken at 1635. The highest value of the index to date was 6950.6, set on December 30, 1999.
The index is seen as a barometer of success of the British economy and is the leading share index in Europe. It is maintained by the FTSE Group, a now independent company which originated as a joint venture between the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange (hence the abbreviation Financial Times Stock Exchange). According to the FTSE Group's website the FTSE 100 companies represent about 80% of the UK share market.
The constituents of the index are determined quarterly; the largest companies in the FTSE 250 Index are promoted if their market capitalisation would place them in the top 90 firms of the FTSE 100 Index. As of 2006, the threshold for inclusion is about 2 billion pounds. As of 31 December 2005 the 6 largest constituents of the index were BP, Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC Holdings, the Vodafone Group, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and GlaxoSmithKline, which were each valued at more than £50 billion.
FTSE 250 Index
The FTSE 250 Index is a capitalisation weighted index of 250 companies on the London Stock Exchange. They are selected quarterly as being the 101st to 350th largest companies with their primary listing on the exchange. Promotions to and from the index take place quarterly in March, June, September and December.
FTSE 350 Index
The FTSE 350 Index index is a market capitalisation weighted stock market index incorporating the largest 350 companies by capitalisation which have their primary listing on the London Stock Exchange. It is a combination of the FTSE 100 Index of the largest 100 companies and the FTSE 250 Index of the next largest 250. See the articles about those indices for lists of the constituents of the FTSE 350.
The FTSE 350 is not very widely followed. The terms "FTSE 350" or "FTSE 350 company" are however useful for referring to large listed British companies when one wishes to include companies outside the top 100.