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30 Years of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange

Portrait of Dragotin Hribar, co-funder of the first stock exchange in Ljubljana (the portrait adorns the premises of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange) 

95 years will have passed this summer since the first stock exchange began its operations in Ljubljana. It was founded in 1924 at the initiative of local businessmen gathered around writer, craftsman and politician Dragotin Hribar.  At that time, the stock exchanges of Zagreb, Belgrade, Skopje and Sombor already existed in the kingdom of SHS, but none of them sufficiently served the needs of the Slovenian economy. After long negotiations and initial opposition from Belgrade and Zagreb to the establishment of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, our businessmen finally persuaded the authorities to agree to the establishment of a stock exchange that would serve the needs of the Slovenian economy. The first stock exchange operated from the premises of today’s Philharmonic.

Initially, the majority of turnover generated on the pre-war stock exchange represented trading in securities (named effects) and agricultural commodities (cereals, log, timber, etc.). Among the issuers of securities even today known companies can be found: Pivovarna Union, Ljubljana, Šešir, Škofja Loka, Union, hotelska in stavbinska d. d., Ljubljana, Tovarna dušika, Ruše, Trboveljska premogokopna družba, Ljubljana, Združene papirnice, Ljubljana and others. However, the stock exchange experienced the golden age of trading three years later, when, after repeated Slovenian efforts, the trading on the stock exchange was also extended to foreign currencies, which, until the beginning of the Second World War, represented about 95% of the turnover on the stock exchange.
It is not known when the exchange closed its doors, but due to the War and the consequent decline in economic activity in 1942, trading was virtually non-existent and the activities on the exchange slowly and gradually ceased. What followed was a 50-year period of non-market economy and the absence of a capital market and exchange. Only after Slovenia’s independence and privatisation procedures in the early 1990s, Slovenia’s domestic capital market and activities on the newly established stock exchange again came to life.

Share of Trboveljska premogokopna družba, Ljubljana traded on the first stock exchange in Ljubljana