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Financial Innovation and Growth: Listings and IPOs from 1880 to World War II in the Athens Stock Exchange

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  • Stavros Thomadakis, Dimitrios Gounopoulos, Christos Nounis and Michalis Riginos

Abstract

The study explores the growth of the Athens Stock Exchange through new listings and IPOs over the period 1880-1940. We examine institutional changes in exchange governance and listing requirements. On a theme that has not been addressed before, we find that simple listings were far more numerous than actual IPOs, while even during ‘hot’ listing periods IPO activity was relatively limited. IPOs in Greece remained unregulated throughout the period and there is only sparse evidence on the involvement of professional investment banking services. IPOs over-pricing in the early decades gives way to under-pricing in the 1920s. The growth of the Greek stock market was coincident with development episodes in the economy, as well as phases of protectionism. It has been driven by a demand for listings basically serving the liquidity needs of company owners. Finally, 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stavros Thomadakis, Dimitrios Gounopoulos, Christos Nounis and Michalis Riginos, 2014. "Financial Innovation and Growth: Listings and IPOs from 1880 to World War II in the Athens Stock Exchange," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 86, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:hel:greese:86
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    File URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/europeanInstitute/research/hellenicObservatory/CMS%20pdf/Publications/GreeSE/GreeSE-No86.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Listings; Initial public offerings; financial history; financial innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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