company was duly set up55. The branch managed the deal in tandem with Banque Labouchere Oyens & Co.
In October 1913, Horace Finaly56 reported to the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas Board of Directors on the state of play in negotiations regarding the Paris stock exchange listing of the shares of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Petroleumbronnen (Royal Dutch Petroleum Company)57. The following month the bank asked permission to the French government for this listing on the Paris Bourse. The French government did not take any decision in the matter and the deal was abandoned.
The Dutch appetite for US stocks and the misadventures of the Lake Erie and Louisville Railroad investment
US securities had been in favour with the Dutch market since the first half of the 19th century. In the 1840s a series of bankruptcies had somewhat dampened the market s enthusiasm, but these qualms did not last for long. By around 1860, however, when the renowned US railroad stocks first appeared in the market, suspicion had evaporated and the stocks immediately caught on. Between 1860 and 1890 the number of listed companies on the Amsterdam exchange rose from 113 to 601, consisting of 230 Dutch companies and 371 foreign stocks. This figure included 141 US stocks, 123 of them railroad companies.58
Adolphe Boissevain & Co., a company founded by Adolphe Boissevain and his American partners Stanton Blake and R.V. Martinsen, was extremely active in this market.
The Amsterdam branch of the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas also had great expertise in this business, having purchased the firm of Holjé & Boissevain, a stock broker which specialised in bringing US railroad companies59 to the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. One of the partners, Gideon Maria Boissevain (1837-1925), was a member of the Advisory Council of the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas branch from 1872 to 1921. In fact, this was a large market segment, as Amsterdam was, alongside London, the major European marketplace for the shares and bonds of North American railroad companies. However, the Amsterdam branch lost a great deal of money in the Lake Erie and Louisville Railroad company affair.
55. It is likely that this initiative originated with the salt merchant Jacob Pieter Vis who, in 1918, obtained the exclusive right from the government to exploit salt deposits for sixty years. He founded the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Zoutindustrie, one of the forerunners of AKZO-Nobel.
56. Horace Finaly joined Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas in 1900 and was General Manager from 1919 to 1937.
57. In 1907, the Koninklijke Petroleum Maatschappij in The Hague and the Shell Transport & Trading Company in London brought their activities together in one company, with 60% held by Koninklijke Petroleum and 40% by Shell Transport. Thus was the Royal Dutch Shell group created. In 2005 Koninklijke Petroleum and Shell Transport formed one single company, Royal Dutch Shell, with headquarters in The Hague.
58. In Joost P.B. Jonker, MeesPierson, The link between past and future 275 years of tradition and innovation in Dutch banking, 1997, p 63
59. See Bernard van Marken and Dr Piet A. Geljon, The Nederlandsche Credit en Deposito Bank, 1863-1872: One of the forerunners of the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas The Dutch origins of a French banking group, BNP Paribas.
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