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

See all articles by Stavros Thomadakis

Stavros Thomadakis

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Faculty of Economics

Dimitrios Gounopoulos

University of Bath

Christos Panagiotis Nounis

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Faculty of Economics

Michalis Riginos

University of Athens - School of Economics

Date Written: April 1, 2016

Abstract

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

Thomadakis, Stavros and Gounopoulos, Dimitrios and Nounis, Christos Panagiotis and Riginos, Michalis, Innovation and Upheaval: Early Growth in the Greek Capital Market Listings and IPOs from 1880 to World War II in the Athens Stock Exchange (April 1, 2016). Economic History Review, 70, 3, 2017, pp 859-892 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2756635

Stavros Thomadakis

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Faculty of Economics ( email )

8 Pesmazoglou street
GR-10559 Athens
Greece
3-0 1 3236021 (Phone)
3-0 1 3225542 (Fax)

Dimitrios Gounopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Bath ( email )

School of Management,
Wessex House, Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

Christos Panagiotis Nounis

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Faculty of Economics ( email )

8 Pesmazoglou street
GR-10559 Athens
Greece

Michalis Riginos

University of Athens - School of Economics ( email )

5 Stadiou Strt
Athens, 12131
Greece

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