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Financing Growth: New Issues by Australian Firms, 1920–1939

  • David T. Merrett (a1) and Simon Ville (a2)

An expanding economy, new technologies, and changing consumer preferences provided growth opportunities for firms in interwar Australia. This period saw an increase in the number of large-scale firms in mining, manufacturing, and a wide range of service industries. Firms unable to rely solely on retained earnings to fund expansion turned to the domestic stock exchanges. A new data set of capital raisings constructed from reports of prospectuses published in the financial press forms the basis for the conclusion that many firms used substantial injections of equity finance to augment internally generated sources of funds. That they were able to do so indicates a strong increase in the capacity of local stock exchanges and a greater willingness of individuals to hold part of their wealthin transferable securities.

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Noel G. Butlin , Investment in Australian Economic Development, 1861–1900 (Cambridge, U.K., 1964).

Ranald Michie , The Global Securities Market (Oxford, 2006),

Mary A. O'Sullivan , “Funding New Industries: A Historical Perspective on the Financing Role of the U.S. Stock Market in the Twentieth Century,” in Financing Innovation in the United States, 1870 to the Present, ed. Naomi R. Lamoreaux and Kenneth L. Sokoloff (Cambridge, Mass., 2007), 163216.

Grant Fleming , David T. Merrett and Simon Ville , The Big End of Town: Big Business and the Rise of Corporate Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia (Cambridge, U.K., 2004).

Jonathan B. Baskin and Paul J. Miranti Jr., A History of Corporate Finance (Cambridge, U.K., 1997), ch. 5.

Naomi R. Lamoreaux , Insider Lending: Banks, Personal Connections, and Economic Development in Industrial New England (Cambridge, U.K., 1994).

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Business History Review
  • ISSN: 0007-6805
  • EISSN: 2044-768X
  • URL: /core/journals/business-history-review
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