In these times of low and perhaps negative savings interest rates, it is tempting to invest your money (if you have any left) in equities. Not so long ago, it was possible to do just that right here. We had our own stock exchange in The Hague.
Hassle with Amsterdam
At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, money and securities dealers in The Hague were unable to become members of the Amsterdam Association for Securities Trading. This association was the driving force behind the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, and its membership was limited to Amsterdam traders. As traders from The Hague were excluded from the Amsterdam Association, they could not trade directly. They had to make use of middlemen, the so-called correspondents, who demanded high transaction fees that left only small profit margins for bankers in The Hague.
Vereeniging voor den Haagschen Geld- en Effectenhandel
Unhappy with this situation, ten banks in The Hague decided in 1903 to set up the ‘Vereeniging voor den Haagschen Geld- en Effectenhandel’ (= Association for the The Hague Money and Securities Trading). As De Telegraaf wrote on 20 April 1905: ‘Better to do business with a competitor or a foreigner than with an Amsterdammer’.
Daniel Scheurleer, co-founder and chairman, was a member of an old banking family. The bank Scheurleer & Zoonen (1804-1932) was the principal banker of the royal family and many wealthy families in The Hague.
The Hague Stock Exchange
In 1905 the members of the Association took the next step. They founded the ‘Haagsche Effectensociëteit’, the official name of the The Hague Stock Exchange. The opening was attended by around 80 people, including almost all the executives of the major banks in The Hague. The stock exchange began operations in a room above Peek & Cloppenburg on Wagenstraat.
In March 1912, securities trading moved to a specially renovated Reformed church at 23 Kleine Nobelstraat.
Trading in securities was very simple in those days. Haagse traders got together, drank coffee and waited for the opening of the Amsterdam stock exchange. This was always at 1 o’clock. After that, quotes were determined for the shares, which were valid in The Hague (and in Rotterdam, which also had its own exchange) for the rest of the day. The quotes were written on a blackboard.
In 1928, the Society celebrated its 25th anniversary and had 57 members. At that time, S.J. Hogerzeil was chairman. He was head of the bank Lissa en Kan, which had its offices at Lange Vijverberg 11-13.
Wartime and After
World War II ultimately forced the Haagse Effectenbeurs to close in 1942. After the war it took a while before the business started up again. By the sixties, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange had grown to such an extent that the Hague and Rotterdam Stock Exchanges were left in its shadow. In 1970 the Stock Exchange building at Nobelstraat was sold to the Municipality of The Hague. The Hague Stock Exchange moved to Alexander Gogelweg 16, where it was able to rent a space from the Chamber of Commerce for the symbolic sum of ƒ1,=.
In 1972, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange Association changed its rules. Non-Amsterdam traders could now become members and gain access to the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Reconciliation with the guys in Amsterdam at last! As a result, stock trading in The Netherlands became ever more concentrated in Amsterdam. In 1974 the stock exchanges of Rotterdam and The Hague were dissolved.
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