400-Year-Old Stock Transaction Discovered

AMSTERDAM (AP) - An archive in the Netherlands has uncovered what it says is the oldest known share of stock in a company.

The West Fries Archive says the share in the Dutch East India Company is dated Sept. 9, 1606. That's more than two weeks before what had been the oldest known share in the corporation, which is held by a group of German investors.

According to a statement on the archive's website Thursday, the share was issued to an official named Pieter Harmenz in Enkhuizen, which then rivaled Amsterdam as one of the nation's most important ports.

The share was found by a college student working on his history thesis, the archive said.

It didn't say how it knows the document is authentic. The share goes on display Friday at the West Frisian Museum.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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