MALAYA - THE RAJAH HITAM COCONUT ESTATE - DIVIDEND COUPON 1949 by Saran Singh AMN, AMP, PNM
The Rajah Hitam Coconut Estate, Limited was incorporated in the Strait Settlements around October1911. The Head Office of the Estate was established in Singapore. A branch office was later set up in Kuala Lumpur. Its main focus was on planting coconuts and producing kopra (copra) and coconut oil. By the end of 1913, it had planted close to 1000 acres of coconut trees in Peninsula Malaya.
Malaya was well known for its fertile land. Hence plantations were developing at a fast pace in the early 1900’s. Most of these Estates or Plantations focused on rubber, timber , coconut and palm oil. As these plantations expanded, they eventually started to give good financial returns. Some of these entrepreneur plantations offered shares for sale to the public as a means of collecting funds. Thus the investment arm of the business continued to grow. In return for the share holders investments in these company’s, attractive dividends were offered at the end of each financial year.
The Rajah Hitam Coconut Estate, Limited, is one example of a very successful plantation. It obviously had issued shares to its investors as part of its initiative to expand and had offered dividends, in return for their investment and confidence in the company.
On 10th June, 1949, an advertisement was placed in the Singapore News Straits Times newspaper by The Rajah Hitam Coconut Estate, Ltd, Kuala Lumpur. The 34th Annual General Meeting of the Company was to be held at No:1, The Embankment , Kuala Lumpur, on Friday 17th June, 1949. The annual general meeting had five main objectives, one being the declaration of dividends for the company.
There was a 15% dividend being proposed to be paid out on 24th June, 1949. The transfer books of the company were to be closed between 17th to the 24th June, 1949 for the purpose of preparing Dividend Warrants for the Nominative Shares holders. Bearer Warrant holders were requested to present their Coupon No : 13 to the Chartered Bank of India, Australia & China , Kuala Lumpur branch for the receipt of payment for the above said dividends.
Illustrated below is a photograph of the Coupon No : 13.
Obverse : The Rajah HItam Coconut Estate Limited (incorporated in the Straits Settlements)
Coupon No : 13 for dividend on 100 shares. Warrant to Bearer No : 1207.
Reverse : Stamp of “Chartered Bank, Kuala Lumpur” with date 27th June,1949. Notation of “Paid” written, indicating bearer had collected his dividends 1949 from the bank.