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In Western countries, government debt was the first security market. This is understandable in view of the fast-increasing burden of government military expenditure. Due to the lack of a debt market, governments were forced to give up and make peace when kings had exhausted their financial resources. In the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, shares of the “chartered companies”, such as Vereenigde Oostindindische Companie (1602), British East India Company (1600) and Compagnie Française des Indes Orientales (1664), were traded on the local market. In the nineteenth century huge government bond issues were traded on behalf of defeated countries (France 1871, China 1895 and Russia 1905). Shares of transport companies (railway, turnpike canals and the Suez Canal) were traded on the nascent market and later on in the century so were the shares of petroleum, mining and steel companies. Until the stock and bond market was opened to most of the largest industrial and trading companies China followed the same path, but China achieved within a couple of years what Western countries did over centuries.
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