Monthly Archives: aprilie 2009

BSE stock prices in GNUCash

Posted by on aprilie 06, 2009
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The "Add security" Window

Fig. 1: The Add Security window in GNUCash

GNUCash has a very good automatic price retreival utility, based on the Perl Finance::Quote library. Unfortunately, the sites it is using to get the data from don’t have any quotes from the Romanian markets.

Therefore, I decided to write my own modules, and I started with the Bucharest Stock Exchange, since their data was reliable and available in a accessible format.

Here is how you can add this package to your own system:

  1. Install Perl. If you’re using Linux, you probably already have it. Write perl -v to find out the version you have. If you’re using Windows, ActivePerl or Strawberry Perl should do the trick.
  2. Install Finance::Quote. GNUCash offers an automated program to do that.
    1. Make sure GNUCash is not running.
    2. In Linux, open a root shell and write update-finance-quote. In Windows, go to the start menu and you will find a shortcut to a BAT file called „Install Online Price Retreival”.
  3. For now, the script is not yet included in Finance::Quote and must be installed separately.
    1. Download the provided archive and extract it along with the rest of the Perl scripts for Finance::Quote (you will see the download path during the installation). Make sure the Finance folder overwrites the current folder.
    2. In the Finance folder you will find 2 files named and You can apply the patch by using the command patch On Windows, just open the file in Notepad, search for a line that begins with @modules = and add BSERO to the list of modules.
  4. Start GNUCash and go the the Tools->Security Editor menu. You will see a window similar to the one on the left side of Fig. 1.
  5. Click on the Add button. A new window, just like the one on the right side of Fig. 1 will appear. Let’s say that you want to get the stock price for Banca Românâ pentru Dezvoltare (symbol: BRD). You add the following information in that window:
    1. Full Name: Banca Română pentru Dezvoltare
    2. Symbol: BRD (this is very important, as this is the search criteria)
    3. Type: BSE (or BVB, or whatever you want)
    4. Check the Get Online Quotes checkbox. Three new options will be activated.
    5. Automatic price retreival

      Fig.2: Automatic price retreival

      Choose Type of quote source: Unknown

    6. From the drop-down choose bsero.
    7. Click OK twice and you’re ready to test it.
  6. Go to the Tools->Price Editor menu. You will see the dialog in Fig. 2. Click the Get Quotes button and you should see a new price appearing. You can notice the source is „Finance::Quote” and the price is the correct one for that date. If you wish, you can check it on the BSE website.

New adventures with the Romanian funds

Posted by on aprilie 05, 2009
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After the bad experiences I had with BTAM, I decided to try my luck with the Asset Management division of the biggest romanian bank, BCR. As with most bank-owned funds, you can buy units from the bank itself.

So I went to one of the big branches, I went in and asked where I could buy some units from their funds. The young lady at the reception pointed me to the manager’s office (which was on another entrance). It seemed that I could only buy units from the manager… whatever. I went to the office where I was met by an old, respectable lady which politely asked me if I had an account at the bank. When I said „no”, she asked for my ID so she could open one, because „fund units can only be paid for by bank transfer”. Considering my past experiences with that bank, I took my ID and left right in that moment.

That could have been the end of it, but based on my experience with BTAM, I decided to write them an email. After about a week, in which the email passed by 4 of their employees (ofcourse, the headers were still there), I received an email from someone apologizing for the problem and inviting me to contact them in order to buy those unit. I suppose that in the banks, an email is not yet considered as a valid mean of contact…