The great disappointment. The returns to the share capital of Catalan railways (1849-1943)

Authors

  • Pere Pascual i Domènech

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/rhi.v0i17.18520

Keywords:

Railways, Catalonia, Railway operation, Profitability

Abstract

This paper analyses the average returns that were obtained by the Catalan railway companies' shareholders between 1849 (when the first Catalan line began to operate) and 1943 (when the Spanish railway network was nationalized). The paper shows, firstly, that the average dividend which was distributed by all companies was very low, and stood more or less markedly below the market interest rate. Secondly, during some short periods great opportunities for speculative profits arouse in the share market, especially for share buyers in the years 1865-1875 and, to a lesser extent, in 1886-1895. Thirdly, the value of the companies' share capital experienced in the long term an intense process of erosion, due both to inflation and the undercapitalization that affected the network.

Published

2017-04-27

Issue

Section

Articles