Innovation and Upheaval: Early Growth in the Greek Capital Market Listings and IPOs from 1880 to World War II in the Athens Stock Exchange
Economic History Review, 70, 3, 2017, pp 859-892
49 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2016 Last revised: 24 Sep 2018
Date Written: April 1, 2016
The establishment and growth of the Greek stock market were coincident with development episodes, financial upheavals and geographic expansions of the country’s economy over the period 1880-1940. We explore the growth of the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) through new listings and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We examine changes in exchange governance and listing requirements. On a theme not addressed before, we find that simple listings were far more numerous than actual IPOs. IPOs in Greece remained unregulated throughout the period. Their under-pricing became pronounced in the later parts of the period, especially the 1920s. The study presents data on ‘quasi-IPOs’ (i.e. capital increases shortly after listing) and shows that they offer a more accurate assessment of the demand for the financing of listing firms in an emerging market. Robust evidence is presented that as the Exchange developed it also underwent a change in character, becoming more oriented to the domestic market and catering to smaller firms in domestic manufacturing in the post-World War I era that marked the end of early globalization.
Keywords: Listings, Initial public offerings; financial history; financial innovation; Athens Stock Exchange
JEL Classification: N23, N43, G18.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation