The Lyon Stock Exchange: The Survival of the Fittest (1866-1914)

Interesting paper by Jérémy Ducros and Angelo Riva on this history of stock exchanges in France. We know so little about stock exchange history and even less about regional stock exchanges.

This paper reviews Lyons Stock exchange:

In this paper, we look back at the XIX century France to shed light on effect of competition in the stock
exchange industry. During the XIX century the Paris financial centre plays a central role in the French
financial markets. Nevertheless, six organized regional exchanges do exist along all the second half of the
century. A recent literature started to study the complex functioning of the Paris financial centre as well
as the interaction between its two components, the official Paris Bourse and its OTC rival, the Coulisse.
Nevertheless, a very small literature is devoted to the regional French exchanges.

By studying the interactions between Paris and Lyon, we find that, after the 1881-1882 boom and burst, the
Lyon stock exchange has to struggle for surviving facing fierce competition from the Paris Bourse and main
national banks particularly after the 1898 reorganisation of the Paris financial centre, while the strong activity
of Coulisse before the 1895 gold mines crash had a positive effect on the Lyon one. After the 1898 reorganisation,
the Lyon stock exchange survived thanks to a new listing policy favourable to SMEs and the development of
second tiers market for both these unofficially traded SMEs and unlisted risky (mainly foreign) stocks. On
the other side, the progressive homogenisation of the official market imposed by regulators to enhance their
control over the French securities market acted as force driving trading to Paris: only the facilities the Lyon
exchange gave to the main banks of the financial centre maintained some activity.

At the 25th anniversary of NSE, we should revisit the history of regional stock exchanges. We should try understand the evolution and the decline of these stock exchanges. There will be lot to figure here and will give us a sense of how regional equity capital was raised and deployed by the companies. We will also get to understand the process of how these RSEs competed before the equity markets completely shifted to Bombay/Mumbai…

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