BEL 20 index definition

Index tracking the performance of the 20 largest stocks traded on Euronext Brussels

BEL 20 index definition (Shutterstock)                                 

What is the BEL 20 index?

The BEL 20 index was established in 1991. It consists of a maximum of 20 the largest and the most traded stocks listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange, also called the Euronext Brussels. BEL 20 provides insights into the performance of the stock exchange and of the Belgian economy. The index is structured as a free-float market capitalisation-weighted index.

Stocks included in the index represent highly liquid stocks with an adequate level of the trading volume. It serves as a reference for structured products, funds, and exchanged traded funds (ETFs), as well as derivative instruments such as futures and options.

BEL 20 index meaning

Companies which are part of the BEL 20 index have different market capitalisation value. The company with the lowest market cap of €654m is Ontex Group NV, a supplier of disposable personal hygiene products. The company with the highest market cap of €91.9bn is global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch In Bev SA/NV. At the beginning of the last quarter of 2021, the BEL 20 index had a market capitalisation of €259.5bn with a free-float market capitalisation of €159.2bn.

One of the requirements for a company to be included in the index refers to the market cap. A company should have a free-float market capitalisation of at least 300,000 times the index price, while stocks already included in the index should have a market cap of at least 200,000 times the index price. BEL 20 index price in 2021 was in the range €3,614 to €4,402.

BEL 20 index explained

The composition of BEL 20 is reviewed annually, but there is a possibility for quarterly swift entry or replacement. In accordance with the index rulebook, screening is performed for the stocks‘ free-float velocity. The minimum velocity for new entrants is set at 35%, while stocks included in the index should have a velocity of at least 25%. The rule indicates the portion of shares which should be freely-floating and be available for trading on the market. It is calculated on a daily basis by dividing the number of stocks traded with the available number of shares.

In cases where more than 20 companies fulfill the listing requirements, the selection of companies for inclusion in the index is based on their rankings. A spin-off or a fast entry can cause more than 20 companies to be included in the index. In such a situation, the lowest ranking company will be excluded.

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