Stock Exchanges

JW Roxburgh, member of the Launceston Stock Exchange, 1890 (AOT, PH30/1/1197)

Stock Exchanges were established in Launceston in 1881 and Hobart in 1882, to provide capital to local business ventures, in particular in the mining industry. During the mining boom in the late nineteenth century, provincial exchanges were set up in Zeehan, which at one point had sixty members, and Queenstown, to assist the establishment of mining operations on the west coast. The bulk of trading in mining shares appears to have occurred on the Launceston Stock Exchange; in 1901 there were about 157 mining companies listed on the Launceston Stock Exchange compared to only about 33 in Hobart.

There was increased interest in Tasmanian stocks in 1897, in particular the Emu Bay Railway stocks, which offered £15,000 worth of shares and received applications for £400,000 worth. The Australia Associated Stock Exchange was established in 1937, with representatives from all Exchanges. This heralded the introduction of common listing requirements for companies and uniform brokerage and other rules for stockbroking firms. For the next fifty years regional exchanges became progressively more integrated, and in 1972 a company could apply to all exchanges to be nationally listed. The Launceston Stock Exchange merged with the Hobart Stock Exchange in 1970. The Australian Stock Exchange was formed on 1 April 1987, amalgamating the six independent stock exchanges. The Hobart Stock Exchange operated as a subsidiary exchange to the Australian Stock Exchange, with nine Tasmanian companies listed on it, including Roberts, Gunns and Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees. It closed in 2006.

Further reading:

Ted Alexander