The development of an organized capital market in Venezuela can be traced back to 1805 when Don Bruno Abasolo y Don Fernando Key Muñoz founded a trading house in the city of Santiago de León de Caracas. In 1807, the Venezuelan Government issued the first legal framework of rules, which allowed for the first association of traders to be formed.
After a number of attempts to create a formal market, La Bolsa de Portillo was established in 1840. At that time, two trading sessions per day took place at the exchange where shares of various companies changed hands. These trading sessions used to take place under a tree known as the “Ceiba de San Francisco” in Caracas, which can be seen on the emblem of the Caracas Stock Exchange.
In 1873, the government of President Antonio Guzmán Blanco issued the Commercial Code, which included a section regarding commercial exchanges, and in 1887, the first Exchange Bulletin began circulating in the market place offering shares prices of issued companies. Finally in 1917, the National Congress approved the first Commercial Exchange Law.
The first formal exchange was registered in Caracas on January 21, 1947. Known as the Bolsa de Comercio de Caracas, it was composed of 22 seats. The first trading occurred on April 21, 1947 and it included 54 companies as well as Government debt. In 1958, a second exchange, the Bolsa de Comercio del Estado Miranda was founded to compete with the first exchange. However, in 1974, the two exchanges merged into one, thus marking the beginning of the modern exchange.
The first Capital Market Law was launched in 1975 and the National Securities Commission (Comisión Nacional de Valores - CNV) was established to regulate the market. This institution reports directly to the Ministry of Finance and is responsible for the regulation of the Capital Market activity in Venezuela. Later on the Caracas Stock Exchange became the Bolsa de Valores de Caracas C.A., which is now the only exchange in Venezuela.