The first price list

Although previous lists with prices and rates had been spread, experts consider Nicolaas Cotray’s Prys-Courant der Effecten (Price List for Securities), published since August 2, 1796, to be the first real price list. The list was published twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. Printer, bookseller, and publisher Cotray capitalized on the zeitgeist. For a long time, trade in securities had occurred on such a small scale that price lists were not necessary; market parties knew and trusted each other. But trade grew, new players appeared on the scene, and trade in bonds fell under the spell of large price fluctuations.

Cotray received his information from the first stock exchange organization in Amsterdam, the Collegie tot Nut des Obligatiehandels. Founded in 1789, the Collegie had set the monitoring of listings as well as the provision of reliable price information as its main objective. The regular publication of a price list supported this objective. Since Cotray, many publishers and institutions have been involved with the publication of the price list. Its most recent publisher was exchange company Euronext. Since 2009, the price list of this legal successor of the Collegie is only published online. Nevertheless, Cotray still has a printed legal successor. For also the Financieele Dagblad stems back to this first price list. The subheading ‘Everything that relates to the financial in any way – since 1796’, still silently demonstrates this.