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The stock exchange in Ljubljana in the years 1924 - 1942

In December 2009 the existing Ljubljana Stock Exchange turned 20 years old. However, brokerage in Slovenia has a much longer tradition: the first stock exchange in Ljubljana existed as early as in the period between 1924 and 1942. Unfortunately, during the Second World War the trading on the old exchange was suspended, and after the war also officially banned by a decree. Slovenians were thus left without a stock exchange for almost half a century. While the newspapers and other media offer daily reports on the developments of the existing Exchange, this article gives a brief account of trading on the old Ljubljana Exchange in the times of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians.

As early as in 1922, businessmen gathered around the industrialist Dragotin Hribar (founder and first president of the old Exchange), endeavouring to set up another stock exchange beside the one in Zagreb. He chose Ljubljana as the venue. In that same year the minister in charge approved a market for trading in commodities and securities to be established in Ljubljana; however, he did not allow foreign exchange dealing. It was only on 6 August 1923 that the efforts to raise awareness about the need for a stock exchange paid off. On that day Dragotin Hribar convened the first general meeting of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange; it was held in the present-day Philharmonic Hall at the Ljubljana Congress Square. The Exchange officially began to officiate only after lengthy preparations, on 16 August 1924, whereas the first trading deals were carried out two days later. Initially, trading was done only in securities and commodities (mostly in wood and grain), and three years later foreign exchange dealing was also allowed. The latter represented about 93 to 99 percent of the total turnover of the Exchange at that time, therefore hearty endeavours to obtain a licence from the then finance minister from Belgrade were self-explanatory. Trading was carried out the way most people still imagine it today - on the floor of the Stock Exchange (open outcry), where brokers shouted out their buy or sell offers and matched them up. Today, the brokers' open outcry method has been replaced by electronic computer trading on the majority of stock exchanges.

Upon the opening of the Exchange, 27 securities were traded, the majority of which were state securities, and the rest were securities of Slovenian financial institutions and industrial enterprises. Many of them were the predecessors of todays well known Slovenian companies: Pivovarna Union (the Ljubljana brewery), Union - Hotelska in stavbinska d. d., Ljubljana (hotel and real estate co.), Tekstilna Kocevje (textile industry), Sesir Skofja Loka (hat manufacturers), Tovarna dusika Ruse (nitrogen producers), Zdruzene papirnice (the Ljubljana paper mill), Kranjska industrijska druzba Jesenice, Trboveljska premogokopna druzba Ljubljana (colliery).

In 1930, the Exchange moved to a new location, to Gregorciceva ulica 27. It operated there, in Trgovski dom (Merchants Hall), until the Second World War. In 1942, some trading in commodities did continue to go on, but no information on trading after that year transpired until the present day. The present Ljubljana Stock Exchange strives to maintain and further develop the tradition and reputation of the old Exchange.

LJSE from 1989 up to the present


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