French investment in Russian joint stock companies, 1894–1914
The Russian industrialisation drive was accompanied and made possible in the decade of the 1890s and in the first decade and one-half of the twentieth century by an unprecedented influx of foreign capital into various types of investment: into government bonds, into railway bonds with government guarantee, into municipal enterprise and into industry. By 1914 foreigners held nearly one of every two Russian bonds of a public nature in circulation and in addition they held almost half of the shares of the joint stock companies.1 The French alone held about two of every three Russian bonds abroad, and nearly one of every three Russian bonds issued. They also accounted for about one-third of foreign holdings of Russian company shares and for about one-seventh of the total nominal Russian joint stock capital issued. Though relative to French holdings of Russia’s public debt French investment in Russian company shares was fairly modest, its importance in the context of the Russian economy was much greater than the mere absolute amount would suggest, as French capital went primarily into Russia’s basic industries such as mining and metallurgy, and into banking.
KeywordsRussian Company Russian Government Russian Industry Russian Bank Debenture Capital
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