Public shareholding companies were established in the early 1930’s. Ever since, Jordanian public have been subscribing and dealing in shares. Corporate bonds were issued in the early sixties. Transactions were handled in individual brokerage offices. Thus, the need for a well-organized market aroused, and the establishment of the Amman Financial Market (AFM) became crucial. January 1, 1978 was the birth of a leading securities market in the region. Since then, the AFM played the role of the stock exchange as well as a regulatory body.

The Securities market has made a significant qualitative transition of operating according to international standards. The passage of the Securities Law No. 23 in 1997 was indeed a landmark and a turning point for the Jordanian capital market. Three institutions emerged out of what has been the Amman Financial Market till 1997. They are:

The Jordan Securities Commission (JSC)
The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE)
The Securities Depository Center (SDC)

Separation of regulatory function from trading; restructuring the market in accordance to international standards; creating the legal framework for the issuance of new financial instruments; encouraging, attracting and protecting investors; establishing a transparent and fair market - were all main factors for issuing the Securities Law in the process of reforming the Capital Market.
Concerning quantitative development of the securities market, market capitalization increased from JD 286 million in 1978 to JD 4.1 billion by the end of 1999. The trading volume increased from JD 9.7 in 1978 to JD 389.4 million in 1999. While, the number of listed companies increased from 66 companies in 1978 to 152 companies in 1999. In the same year, the market value of listed shares reached 75% of the gross domestic income. This percent equals the market value in the developed countries and double overpass the existing average in emerging markets.

During the past five years, tremendous changes took place around the world. Globalization became the key word in the new world economy. Technology, communication and intense flow of information, trade across borders all made the world a small village. Jordan’s past achievements were a striving vehicle to consider and adopt positive changes. Jordan was one of the few countries to realize the importance of coping up with the new trends of change.

The country’s legal and organizational structures have been revised, and significant measures have been taken to restructure, liberalize and increase the openness of the national economy. Development of the Jordan capital market is at the center of these considerations. Major restructuring of the market and its regulations have been implemented and new entities have been established and developed.
Among key economic legislations that the Jordan Securities Commission (JSC) has introduced was the issuance of the Securities Law no. 23 in 1997. The introduction of the Law aimed to make a qualitative leap in the history of the national capital market.