Chapter

Appendix II CAPITAL AND OWNERSHIP OF CENTRAL BANKS 1

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
August 2003
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CapitalOwnership
CountryAuthorized capitalPaid-up capitalPercentage of

government ownership
Percentage of privately

held capital
Austria150 million schillings, divided into 150,000 shares of 1,000 schillings each (Art. 8(1))150 million schillings50

(Art. 9 (2))
50

(Art. 9(1) and (3))
Belgium400 million francs, divided into 400,000 shares of 1,000 francs each (Art. 5, par. 1)400 million francs50

(Art. 5, par. 2)
50 2
Denmark50 million kroner (Sec. 2)50 million kroner33
Finland300 million markkas (Art. 4)300 million markkas44
France250 million francs250 million francs100 5
Germany290 million deutsche mark (Art. 2)290 million deutsche mark1006

(Art. 2)
Greece168 million drachmas (Art. 8, par. 1)168 million drachmas10

(Art. 8, par. 4)
90

(Art. 8, par. 4)
Iceland100 million krónur (Art. 1)100 million krónur100

(Arts. 1-2)
Ireland40,000 pounds (Sec. 9(1))24,000 pounds

(Sec.9(1)-(2))
100 7
Italy300 million lire, represented by 300,000 shares (quote) of 1,000 lire each Art. 3 8300 million lireArt. 3 8Art. 38
Netherlands20 million guilders (Art. 4)20 million guilders100 9
Norway35 million kroner (Art. 2)35 million kroner100 10
Portugal200 million escudos divided into shares of 1,000 escudos each (Art. 7)193,560,000 escudos 11Arts. 12–13Arts. 12–13
Spain12228 million pesetas 12100

(Art. 1 and Additional Provision)13
Sweden50 million kronor (Art. 3)50 million kronor1414
Switzerland50 million francs, divided into 100,000 shares of 500 francs each (Art. 5(1))25 million francs

(Art. 5(2))15
1616
Yugoslavia17171717

The references to articles or sections in the table proper refer to the central bank law of the country concerned, as published in this volume.

Although it is customary to distinguish between government-owned and privately owned central banks, there are instances where such a distinction does not apply (for example, the National Bank of Denmark—see footnote 3, below) or where its applicability is by no means obvious (for example, the Bank of Italy—see footnote 8, below). Moreover, in determining whether or not a central bank is deemed to be wholly or in part government owned, the traditions and usages of the country concerned have to be taken into account (for example, Finland and Sweden—see footnotes 4 and 14, below).

See Art. 6 of the By-Laws of the National Bank, 1939.

By virtue of Sec. 1 of the National Bank of Denmark Act, 1936, the status of the Bank was changed from that of an independent to an official government corporation. Although no private person any longer has any share in the General Capital Fund (Grundfond) of the Bank, the Bank is not deemed to be a government-owned institution.

No private person may own any share in the capital of the Bank of Finland.

By virtue of Art. 1 of the Law of December 2, 1945 concerning the nationalization of the Bank of France, the shares of the Bank were transferred to the State.

Art. 2 of the Law Concerning the Deutsche Bundesbank, 1957, provides that the original capital (Grundkapital) of the Bundesbank, amounting to 290 million deutsche mark, shall be the property of the Federation. No private person holds any share in this capital. The amount of the original capital resulted from the merger of the constituent units of the antecedent central banking system as established in 1948. The Bundesbank is, under Art. 2 of the 1957 Law, an autonomous Federal institution and considered to be owned by the Federal Government.

As the Government is the only subscriber to the capital of the Central Bank of Ireland, the Bank is considered to be wholly government owned.

See also Arts. 20 and 21 of the Banking Law, 1936. The question of whether and to what extent the institutions holding the shares of the Bank of Italy are owned by the Government has to be examined in each individual instance; it may be noted, however, that in effect the Government, or its agencies and instrumentalities, holds a significant share in these institutions.

By virtue of Art. 2 of the Act of April 23, 1948 concerning the nationalization of the shares of the Netherlands Bank (Staatsblad, 1948, No. I 165), the shares in the social capital of the Netherlands Bank were nationalized, and under the Royal Decrees of July 12, 1948 (Staatsblad, 1948, Nos. I 290 and 291) it became the sole property of the State as of August 1, 1948.

By virtue of an Act of July 8, 1949 (No. 15), all shares of the Norges Bank belonging to persons other than the State were taken over by the State as of December 31, 1949.

This amount is recorded in the Bank of Portugal’s weekly statement dated July 6, 1966.

The Bank of Spain Law, 1962, does not specify the amount of authorized or paid-up capital. However, Art. 1 of that Law, as well as Base 2 of Art. 1 and the first of the Final Provisions of the Credit and Banking Law, 1962, set forth the conditions for establishing the Bank’s capital. In addition, the statement of the Bank of Spain dated July 9, 1966 lists as capital an amount of 228 million pesetas.

See also Base 2 of Art. 1 of the Credit and Banking Law, 1962.

No private person may own a share in the capital of the Riksbank. On the capital, the reserve fund, and distribution of the profits of the Riksbank, see Sven Lindh, “Sveriges Riksbank,” in Eight European Central Banks (London and New York, 1963), p. 309, who states: “The capital of the Riksbank amounts to 50 million kronor; in addition, there is a general reserve fund of 20 million kronor. In so far as the reserve fund falls below this amount, 10 per cent of the annual profits of the Bank has to be paid into the fund. Subject to this restriction, the Riksbank’s profits are at the disposal of the Riksdag. Generally, part of the profits are appropriated to an exchange adjustment account; the remainder goes into the state budget.”

It is noteworthy that the item “Own Funds” (eigene Gelder), which amounted, for example, to 58 million francs in the Swiss National Bank’s statement for July 15, 1966, comprised the paid-up share capital and the legal reserves.

“The Confederation does not own any part of the Bank’s capital. The majority of the shares have been held since the Bank’s formation by the cantons and by cantonal banks. At the end of 1962 cantons, cantonal banks and other public-law corporations and institutions together held 58 per cent, and 6,053 private shareholders 42 per cent, of the Bank’s capital; 4,811 private shareholders had from one to five shares each. A private shareholder may not, however, cast more than one hundred votes at the General Meeting in respect of his own shares and those which he is representing.”—W. Kull, “Schweizerische Nationalbank,” in Eight European Central Banks (London and New York, 1963), p. 269.

Under Art. 9 of the National Bank of Yugoslavia Law, 1965, the obligations of the National Bank shall be guaranteed by the Federation. There is no provision in the Law specifying, or referring to, the capital of the Bank. No private person may own any share in the “funds” of the Bank.

The references to articles or sections in the table proper refer to the central bank law of the country concerned, as published in this volume.

Although it is customary to distinguish between government-owned and privately owned central banks, there are instances where such a distinction does not apply (for example, the National Bank of Denmark—see footnote 3, below) or where its applicability is by no means obvious (for example, the Bank of Italy—see footnote 8, below). Moreover, in determining whether or not a central bank is deemed to be wholly or in part government owned, the traditions and usages of the country concerned have to be taken into account (for example, Finland and Sweden—see footnotes 4 and 14, below).

See Art. 6 of the By-Laws of the National Bank, 1939.

By virtue of Sec. 1 of the National Bank of Denmark Act, 1936, the status of the Bank was changed from that of an independent to an official government corporation. Although no private person any longer has any share in the General Capital Fund (Grundfond) of the Bank, the Bank is not deemed to be a government-owned institution.

No private person may own any share in the capital of the Bank of Finland.

By virtue of Art. 1 of the Law of December 2, 1945 concerning the nationalization of the Bank of France, the shares of the Bank were transferred to the State.

Art. 2 of the Law Concerning the Deutsche Bundesbank, 1957, provides that the original capital (Grundkapital) of the Bundesbank, amounting to 290 million deutsche mark, shall be the property of the Federation. No private person holds any share in this capital. The amount of the original capital resulted from the merger of the constituent units of the antecedent central banking system as established in 1948. The Bundesbank is, under Art. 2 of the 1957 Law, an autonomous Federal institution and considered to be owned by the Federal Government.

As the Government is the only subscriber to the capital of the Central Bank of Ireland, the Bank is considered to be wholly government owned.

See also Arts. 20 and 21 of the Banking Law, 1936. The question of whether and to what extent the institutions holding the shares of the Bank of Italy are owned by the Government has to be examined in each individual instance; it may be noted, however, that in effect the Government, or its agencies and instrumentalities, holds a significant share in these institutions.

By virtue of Art. 2 of the Act of April 23, 1948 concerning the nationalization of the shares of the Netherlands Bank (Staatsblad, 1948, No. I 165), the shares in the social capital of the Netherlands Bank were nationalized, and under the Royal Decrees of July 12, 1948 (Staatsblad, 1948, Nos. I 290 and 291) it became the sole property of the State as of August 1, 1948.

By virtue of an Act of July 8, 1949 (No. 15), all shares of the Norges Bank belonging to persons other than the State were taken over by the State as of December 31, 1949.

This amount is recorded in the Bank of Portugal’s weekly statement dated July 6, 1966.

The Bank of Spain Law, 1962, does not specify the amount of authorized or paid-up capital. However, Art. 1 of that Law, as well as Base 2 of Art. 1 and the first of the Final Provisions of the Credit and Banking Law, 1962, set forth the conditions for establishing the Bank’s capital. In addition, the statement of the Bank of Spain dated July 9, 1966 lists as capital an amount of 228 million pesetas.

See also Base 2 of Art. 1 of the Credit and Banking Law, 1962.

No private person may own a share in the capital of the Riksbank. On the capital, the reserve fund, and distribution of the profits of the Riksbank, see Sven Lindh, “Sveriges Riksbank,” in Eight European Central Banks (London and New York, 1963), p. 309, who states: “The capital of the Riksbank amounts to 50 million kronor; in addition, there is a general reserve fund of 20 million kronor. In so far as the reserve fund falls below this amount, 10 per cent of the annual profits of the Bank has to be paid into the fund. Subject to this restriction, the Riksbank’s profits are at the disposal of the Riksdag. Generally, part of the profits are appropriated to an exchange adjustment account; the remainder goes into the state budget.”

It is noteworthy that the item “Own Funds” (eigene Gelder), which amounted, for example, to 58 million francs in the Swiss National Bank’s statement for July 15, 1966, comprised the paid-up share capital and the legal reserves.

“The Confederation does not own any part of the Bank’s capital. The majority of the shares have been held since the Bank’s formation by the cantons and by cantonal banks. At the end of 1962 cantons, cantonal banks and other public-law corporations and institutions together held 58 per cent, and 6,053 private shareholders 42 per cent, of the Bank’s capital; 4,811 private shareholders had from one to five shares each. A private shareholder may not, however, cast more than one hundred votes at the General Meeting in respect of his own shares and those which he is representing.”—W. Kull, “Schweizerische Nationalbank,” in Eight European Central Banks (London and New York, 1963), p. 269.

Under Art. 9 of the National Bank of Yugoslavia Law, 1965, the obligations of the National Bank shall be guaranteed by the Federation. There is no provision in the Law specifying, or referring to, the capital of the Bank. No private person may own any share in the “funds” of the Bank.

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