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Constantza


Exchange-bourse    EN

Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN

The Chamber of Trade and Industry was founded for the counties of Constanţa and Tulcea by a decision of the Government in August 1880. Its aim was to defend the interests of traders and industrial entrepreneurs or to stimulate their activity. By royal decision, several local great merchants of grain, colonial goods, manufactures and wool were appointed honorary members: Odyssea Despoty, Georgiu Cordina, Solomon Japhet, Gebrail Frenkian, and Ivanciu Calcio. The first meeting of the Chamber took place on 6 September 1880, and Solomon Japhet became president. Initially, the headquarters of the institution was at the Prefecture, but then it moved to private buildings.

The Chamber of Trade and Industry functioned with sections on the trade of grain, foodstuffs, textiles, oil, timber, credit and insurance, food industry etc. All local companies had representatives, as well as the deputies and senators chosen in that circumscription. The institution had to record commercial companies, to organise markets and fairs, participate at the conclusion of collective labour contracts, draft statistics, found and support commercial and professional schools.

Presidents of the Chamber of Trade and Industry were: Solomon Japhet (1880–1882), Gheorghe Caridia (1882–1890), D. Nicolaescu (1890–1896), Gebrail Frenkian (1896–1898), Eremia Popa (1898–1899), Luca Oancea (1899–1902), Alexandru Cosma (1902–1904), Take Manicatide (1904–1908), Eremia Blebea (1908–1909), Em. M. Brancovici (1909–1912), Ioniţă Dimitrecu (1912–1914), Const. N. Alimănişteanu (1914–1919) [1].

The bourse of Constanţa was approved, according to the law of 1881, by royal decree on 25 September 1898. Its main operations were: trading public and private effects, shares of different agricultural, industrial and commercial companies, land, rural and urban papers, metallic matters, currencies, all kinds of merchandise, settling land and water transport, all kinds of transactions relative to the land and maritime trade, all kinds of insurances. The bourse was under the jurisdiction of the Chamber of Trade and was to be directed by a committee made of a syndic and four members. They were elected by trade middlemen and patent merchants of the first and second guild, and one was appointed by the Chamber of Trade. The secretary of the Chamber held the same function for the committee of the bourse.

Although legally organised, the bourse did not function properly. Prices were settled according to the statements of the official middlemen, who concluded their operations outside the bourse, and their statements were, in most cases, late and inexact [2].

As the law did not have expected results, a new regulation was introduced in August 1904. The corporation of the bourse was now composed of all traders, industrialists, companies and credit associations, of patent merchants of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd guild, all companies recorded at the court, thus abolishing the monopoly of middlemen and giving full freedom to trade. At the same time, there were constituted arbitrary and conciliatory chambers, and the bourse had to publish regular bulletins with quotas and statistics. Even in these conditions, problems continued. One of them was linked to the fact that foreign grain merchants refused to be members of the bourse corporation, and with the small number of Romanian merchants it was difficult to complete the number of 10–20 arbiters, from among whom the arbiters were to be elected.

In 1903–1904, besides the transactions concluded by the four official middlemen, there were also agreements done by clandestine middlemen, favoured by the unclear legislation. During this period there were traded the following products [3]:

Product

Quantity

(kilograms)

Average value

(lei)

Wheat

3,994,191

513,080

Rye

1,350,000

137,345

Barley

7,162,000

631,547

Oats

7,619,000

721,130

Corn

2,362,000

222,608,50

Millet

470,000

38,800

Total

22,957,191

2,264,510.50

Rapeseeds

960,000

93,384

In

2,824,400

538,820.20

Beans

748,500

113,220

General Total

27,490,091

3,009,934.70

The institution functioned effectively only since 1910, after a new change of the law and the completion of the works for the magazines silos. In December 1910 the leadership of the bourse drafted a regulation of activity, established registers of operations and the bourse bulletin. The bourse worked in the same local as the Chamber of Trade and Industry, transactions being done in the harbour, close to the grain silos [4].

In 1903 an Association of the grain merchants was formed, according to the model of a similar institution from Brăila. It was composed of three categories of members: active, honorary and adherents, with grain traders, millers, bankers, directors and procurators of banks or societies, grain middlemen, maritime and fluvial agents etc as its active members. The purpose of the association was to defend the interest of the grain trade and navigation [5].

 


[1] J. Stoenescu–Dunăre, Oct. Văleanu, “Monografia Camerei de Comerţ şi Industrie, Bursei de Comerţ şi Camerei Arbitrare Constanţa”, Buletinul Camerei de Comerţ şi Industrie Constanţa, 28 Octomber 1928, 5–8; Monografia Camerei de Comerţ Constanţa. La 130 de ani de la înfiinţarea primei Camere de Comerţ a Dobrogei, la Constanţa, şi la 20 de ani de la reînfiinţarea Camerei constănţene, edited by Ion Dănuţ Jugănaru, Adriana Barothi, Rodica Belteu, Adriana Doga, Ruxandra Serescu (Constanţa: Editura Dobrogea, 2010), 17–18.

2] G. Christodorescu, Portul Constanţa. Mişcare comercială şi maritimă în anul 1903 (Constanţa: Tipografia Ovidiu, 1905), 108–125.

[3]Ibid., 114.

[4]Monografia, 27–28.

[5] Christodorescu, Portul, 125–132.


References

Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.

Bibliography:

Christodorescu, G., Portul Constanţa. Mişcare comercială şi maritimă în anul 1903 [The Port of Constanţa. Its Commercial and Maritime Movement in 1903] (Constanţa: Tipografia Ovidiu, 1905).

Monografia Camerei de Comerţ Constanţa. La 130 de ani de la înfiinţarea primei Camere de Comerţ a Dobrogei, la Constanţa, şi la 20 de ani de la reînfiinţarea Camerei constănţene [The Monograph of the Chamber of Commerce of Constanţa. At 130 Years Since the Foundation of the First Chamber of Commerce in Dobrudja, at Constanţa, and at 20 Years Since Its Reestablishment], edited by Ion Dănuţ Jugănaru, Adriana Barothi, Rodica Belteu, Adriana Doga, Ruxandra Serescu (Constanţa: Editura Dobrogea, 2010).

Stoenescu–Dunăre, J., Văleanu, Oct., “Monografia Camerei de Comerţ şi Industrie, Bursei de Comerţ şi Camerei Arbitrare Constanţa” [The Monograph of the Chamber of Trade and Industry, the Bourse of Trade and the Chamber of Arbiters from Constanţa], Buletinul Camerei de Comerţ şi Industrie Constanţa, 28 Octomber 1928.

 


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