On 27 August 1664, Louis XIV, the Sun King, founded the French East India Company upon initiative of the French Minister of Finance, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and merged the existing small companies into a large one based on the model of the Dutch East India Company VOC. However, the British and the Dutch had already divided up the territories among themselves, which resulted in armed conflict. The company focused on luxury goods from India, such as spices, tea, perfume or Indian cotton.
«COMPAGNIE DES INDES ORIENTALES»
As of 26 August, the permanent exhibition will also feature the "Compagnie des Indes Orientales" - the French East India Company from 1665. It is the oldest known security in financial history that already shows all the characteristics of a share-certificate. This historical security is one of only three still in existence worldwide, and the only one on display in a museum.
The stock issued is viewed as the oldest security still in existence which also indicates transfers of ownership and was therefore tradeable and transferable. The document is a standardized form confirming the first inflow of 2.000 livres out of a total of 6.000 livres (nominal value of the stock) to the company. Alongside the share of the Dutch East India Company VOC, the French East India Company (Compagnie des Indes Orientales) is the most important early share-based trading company of which copies of shares have been preserved.