HUGO VAN DER MOLEN'S
Scripophily site
a collection of historic bonds and shares

Vereenigd Bezit van Amerikaansche Fondsen
(Eng: United Ownership of American Funds)
(update February 24th 2001)

Dr. Hugo H. van der Molen - Wederikweg 114 - 9753 AE Haren, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)50 534 8795; email: hugo@hugovandermolen.nl

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Vereenigd Bezit van Amerikaansche Fondsen: Eerste Serie
(Eng: United Ownership of American Funds: First Series)

Established in 1887, it was under administration of the Maatschappij tot Beheer van het Administratiekantoor van Amerikaanse Fondsen, opgericht door Broes & Gosman, Ten Have & van Essen en Jarman & Zoonen, te Amsterdam (management company of the administration office of American Funds, established by Broes....etc.).

The structure and characteristics of this investment fund are decribed by Berghuis (1967), p. 165 - 168.
The fund held stocks in 21 US companies, mainly railroads, at that time a relatively large number, compared to earlier funds.

The Eerste Serie (first series) was aimed to be Guilders 2,5 million nominal value, issued at 80,25%
and a fixed annual dividend of 3,5%. This issuing percentage was low, which was an indication that - as the Amsterdam Stock Journal (Amsterdamsch Effectenblad) wrote - the quality of the portfolio was sacrificed to the obtain a low issuing percentage. Some of the companies involved had barely been organised after coming out of the hands of receivers, whereas some others were still in a reorganisation process.

The reason for this laid in the lottery aspect of the fund, at that time a common characteristic of Dutch investment funds. As Berghuis (p. 120) explains: the fixed dividend was kept low in order to create an excess liquidity. That was used annualy to draw out a number of participation certificates at nominal value. The holders of these drawn out certificates did not only receive the nominal value, but in addition a so called "Bewijs van deelgerechtigdheid" (French: action de jouissance; Eng: right to a share). These gave no dividends, but after the time that all participatin certificates would have been drawn, these "rights to a share" would serve again as normal participation certificates, sharing in dividends and the drawing scheme. One consequence of this structure was that the issuing of participation certificates could only last one year.

As Berghuis describes, the gambling aspect of these funds was considerable. Especially in this fund, as the dirctors could at will sell stocks and use the selling revenues for the drawing process ! That, of course, to the disadvantage of the remaining partitipation holders !

A novel aspect of the fund was that participants could remove their participations from the fund in exchange for a proportional portion of the portfolio, a process called "royement" in Dutch.

As investors were probably warn off, after one year only half the nominal value had been placed. I have seen evidence of participations of 500 and of 1000 Guilders.

The fund did not do badly however, mainly due to the fact that US Railway stocks reached quiet waters. The fixed dividend could be paid every year except in 1896.

Because of the high $ rate the fund was liquidated in 1920. At that time DGL 761.000 of the originally placed DGL 1.250.000 was still outstanding. DGL 237.500 nominal value had been "removed" from the fund, in Dutch: waren "geroyeerd" in exchange for a proportion of the original US stocks (see above). The remainder had been drawn (Dutch: waren uitgeloot). This means that for DGL 251.500 "bewijzen van deelgerechtigdheid" (Eng: rights to a share) had been issued.

The liquidation payment was only DGL 838,60 per participation, as Berghuis writes. The "Bewijzen van deelgerechtigdheid" (Rights to shares) received no payment, of course: see above for their characteristics and rights.

Sofar I have only come across Bewijzen van Deelgerechtigdheid (Rights to shares). Has anyone seen the original participation rights ? From the above it can be concluded that such "Rights to shares" (Bewijzen van deelgerechtigdheid) have been issued for a total amount of DGL 251.500.
If there had only been rights of DGL 1000, than the number issued would have been 251 and a half.

This seemed odd to me until I came across a Right to a share, issued after Certificate no. 30 A had been drawn with a nominal value of DGL 500. So, apparently participations of DGL 500 have been issued, probably with the extention with letters A and B (I have only seen A, sofar).
This means that the number of  Rights of shares (Bewijzen van Deelgerechtigdheid) of DGL 1000 issued, must be equal or lower than 250, probably much lower as there probably have been more than one right of share of DGL 500.
As I have seen 2 Rights of shares of DGL 1000 (nos 600 and 603), there theoretically could have been 249,5 times 2 = 499 Rights of shares of DGL 500. Actually there were probably much less, however.

Berghuis unfortunately gives us no clues with respect to these numbers.

Anyone knowing of similar pieces is asked to contact me and communicate the numbers and denominations: hugo@hugovandermolen.nl


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