French investment and influence in Russian industry, 1894–1914
By July 1914 the French had invested an estimated 12,452 million francs in Russian securities.1 The bulk of it went into bonds issued or guaranteed by the Russian government, and only an estimated 1700–1900 million francs were invested in shares and bonds of Russian joint stock companies.2 Though they represented only a fraction of total French investment in Russia, French holdings of securities in Russian companies were nevertheless important in that they represented over 14 per cent of the total joint stock capital in Russia and about 33 per cent of foreign investment in this type of security. Moreover French capital was particularly important in Russia’s basic industries, such as mining and metallurgy, and in banking, which in Russia was closely connected with industry. By 1916 over 60 per cent of French capital in Russian joint stock companies was active in concerns which extracted iron ore and coal and smelted it into iron, steel, and steel products.3 Works in which French capital participated accounted for over 60 per cent of the pig iron and coal output of Russia by 1913.4 The French were holders of nearly 23 per cent of the total capital of the ten largest Russian joint stock banks, and they were also large suppliers of short-term credits to these banks.5
KeywordsForeign Investment Foreign Capital Russian Company Russian Government Russian Industry
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