Venice Stock Exchange: the locations and the historical events


A Chamber of Commerce was established in the lagoon city on 5 February 1806 during the period of the Napoleonic reforms. No constitutive deed has been found for the Venice Chamber of Commerce, but another decree of February 1808 established that the Exchange meetings were to be held in the Gallery of the Ducal Palace.
In 1860, when the existence of an exchange had yet to be officially sanctioned, the Brokers' Syndicate drew up a code of the customary practices for the Venetian marketplace. In 1875, the exchange was reorganised in accordance with the Italian regulatory framework.
Hence, although there is evidence of a Merchandise Exchange operating in Venice in the 1800s, it is not until May 1927 that the formal establishment of the Stock Market by the Italian authorities took place in a public inauguration ceremony.
Since there was a very small number of accredited stockbrokers in Venice, a Listing Committee acted as the local body for the Stock Exchange. The Venice Stock Exchange continued to trade until the mid-1990s when the national electronic market and Stock Exchange Board were instituted.


The market

Places specifically used for the trading of stocks had existed in Venice for several centuries before the creation of modern stock exchanges, from the times when the fairs of the merchants and moneychangers used to meet at the Rialto market to conduct their business. Although Venice was a European financial centre throughout the pre-industrial era, the city has had a marginal role to play in the financial world over the last two centuries. During the Napoleonic period, when many other Italian cities were modernised, Venice's centrality was definitively ousted: Trieste to the east and Milan to the west were both growing financial centres whose ability to attract business ended by overshadowing the Venetian marketplace in the long term.
During the early years of the 20th century, trading at the Venice Stock Exchange was so limited that after the First World War it was not opened again until 1927 in the new seat of the Chamber of Commerce. Over its last 70 years, the number of stockbrokers operating out of the Venice Stock Exchange ranged between two and six.



venezia1Before the rise of modern financial institutions, the market of Rialto was the natural meeting place for Venetian merchants, bankers and moneychangers. In 1860, the financial community still did not have a properly defined meeting place and trading took place at various locations between nine in the morning and sunset.
From the time it was officially formed in 1927, the Venice Stock Exchange shared its premises with the Chamber of Commerce in the Palazzo del Commercio in Via XXII Marzo. The società per azioni (joint-stock company) called Borsa Valori that was formed in 1921, specifically for the purpose of constructing the building that was intended to provide a worthy seat for the city's commercial institutions, went bankrupt in a matter of a few years and assigned the property to the Chamber of Commerce. The premises that were occupied by the Stock Exchange were enlarged in 1950 by the purchase of an adjacent building.

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