Many shares have posted impressive gains this year. The performance of exchange operators themselves is no exception.

The FTSE Mondo Visione Exchanges index, a weighted average of 18 listed exchanges, rose 47% in the year to November, the index managers reported today. By contrast, the MSCI World index, a broad-based measure of global equity performance, gained 25% over the same period.

Exchange operators in Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa have all posted triple-digit percentage gains so far this year (in dollar terms). Larger exchanges in developed countries have fared less well, as their businesses come under threat from multi-lateral trading facilities, “dark pools” and other new competitors. NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX are both headed for negative returns in 2009, which must be particularly galling when many of the shares that trade on their exchanges will end the year with solid gains.