capital stock

  • capital stock,  share trade,  VOC

    The oldest share

    The VOC was the world’s first company whose shares were actively traded. It would therefore make sense that the world’s oldest share certificates had been issued by the VOC. It is not quite like that, however. The VOC charter of March 1602 stated that the company would issue registered shares. Subsequently, the introduction to the capital subscription ledger of August 1602 explained the procedure for transferring the ownership of a share. (Read more about these documents and the IPO of the Dutch East India Company in this blog post.) When two share traders had struck a deal, the buyer and the seller (or their authorized representatives) had to appear together…