Global Financial Data has the most extensive database on historical stocks available anywhere in the world.  GFD has collected data on stocks that listed on the London Stock Exchange from the 1600s until 2018.  London was the financial center of the world until World War I, and many companies in emerging markets listed their shares on the London Stock Exchange before a stock exchange even existed in their country. After World War I, many foreign companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange.  Using data from London and New York, we can calculate stock market indices for emerging markets during the 1800s and 1900s before stocks listed on local exchanges and local emerging market indices were calculated. This is one in a series of articles about those countries.

 

The Suez Canal Connects the World

There were a number of companies that listed in London and Paris as well as on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchanges in the 1800s and 1900s. The first company for which GFD has data is the Bank of Egypt which traded in London from 1856 until 1910.  Several other companies came along in the 1860s including the Egyptian Commercial and Trading Co. (1863), Societe Financiere d’Egypt (1864) and the Anglo-Egyptian Banking Co. (1865-1920). However, the largest company in Egypt, the Compagnie universelle du canal maritime de Suez (Suez Canal Co.) went public in 1858 and ran the Suez Canal until it was nationalized by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956.  GFD has data on the Suez Canal from its IPO in 1862 until 1940. During the late 1800s, the Suez Canal Co. was one of the largest stocks by capitalization that traded on either the Paris or the London Stock Exchange.