Friday, July 26, 2013

History of the Reorganization Gold Loan of 1913

The Reorganization Gold Loan of 1913 was for the capital sum of £25,000,000. The loan was authorized by Presidential Order of 22nd April, 1913 officially communicated by the Wai Chiao Pu to the Ministers in Peking of Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and Japan. (The Wai Chiao Pu was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the government of the Republic of China).

The newly appointed President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shih Kai initially approached Britain, France, Germany, and United States of America seeking a substantial loan to assist the fledgling government of the Republic of China. Later this group was expanded to include Japan and Russia, but eventually the U.S. withdrew from participation, leaving five countries which agreed to assist the Chinese Government with financial aid.

The principal financial institutions which participated in the loan arrangements were the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, Deuthsch-Asiatiche Bank, Banque de l’Indo Chine, and Russian Asiatic Bank.

The Yokohama Specie Bank participated on behalf of Japan, but did not issue separate bonds, countersigned by the bank. Arrangements were made as to convertibility into Japnanese Yen of the bearer bonds issued to by other four issuing banks. The banks all received 6% commission for handling this loan and the capital amounts allocated to each bank together with bonds issued are detailed in the data below…..

Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. £7,416,000
Deutsch-Asicatiche Bank £6,000,000
Banque de l”Indo-Chine £7,416,660
Russian Asiatic Bank £2,777,780
Russian Asiatic Bank (Belgium) £1,388,880

The purpose of the loan was to enable the new government of the Republic of China to meet financial liabilities inherited from the previous Chinese Imperial Government, for the reorganization of government institutions and to meet the administrative costs.

As an interesting footnote to this loan, Mr. M. E. Weatherall, who was a senior official of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service in 1921 was quoted in the publication “Wayfoong” as making the following observation.

“I believe that I am correct in saying that the greater part, if not all of the reorganization loan of 1913 was accounted for by statements and vouchers, but in actual fact very little of it was ever applied to the purposes for which it was lent. It disappeared mysteriously and nobody knows where it has gone.”

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George H. LaBarre Galleries - Collectible Stocks and Bonds and Old Stocks and Bonds
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*Source: Historic Foreign Bonds of China by John M. Thomson (2012)

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