Chilian loans business
N M Rothschild's business links with Chile date back to 1825, when New Court established a significant trade in silver and gold bullion and specie with the merchant house of Frederick Huth in Valparaiso. Huth & Co acted as Rothschilds' agents in Chile for the next fifty years, shipping chiefly silver and later copper to London, as well as selling quicksilver from the Spanish mines at Almaden (acquired by the Rothschilds in 1831) to the various mining companies in Chile for refining ore.
Rothschild interests in Chile declined in the 1870s as the quicksilver market stagnated, but revived dramatically in 1886, when N M Rothschild & Sons were appointed bankers to the Chilean government on the strength of their successful financing of Brazil's sovereign debt. The Chilean account had passed from Barings in the 1850s to J.S. Morgan in the 1860s and to the City Bank - later London City and Midland Bank - in the 1870s. N M Rothschild & Sons retained the account until the Second World War, in the teeth of fierce competition for Chilean loans from rival banking syndicates. Between 1886 and 1930, the London house raised 16 major loans, the majority of Chilean Government issues, totalling £39million and providing credit for railways, harbour and drainage works, etc, including a £1.1m Treasury Bill issue in 1907 to finance the reconstruction of Valparaiso after the disastrous earthquake the previous year; and a huge £5 million loan for public works in Valdivia, Santiago, Valparaiso and San Antonio in 1911.
Meanwhile, finance to the commercial sector in Chile had begun to develop. In 1922, along with Barings and Schroders, N M Rothschild & Sons provided credit facilities for a new company, Compañia Exportadora de Salitre, engaged in the export and distribution of nitrate for fertiliser, a key element in the Chilean economy. N M Rothschild & Sons continued to act as financial adviser to the Chilean government in the years following the Second World War.
See also other loans business series and records of the Correspondence Department, Banks, Governments, Railways. Copies of outgoing correspondence relating to Chilean business will be found in records of the Correspondence Department, Chilean Letter Copy Books, 1886-1920, XI/144/0-3.
Chilian loans business, sundry loans, sundry papers, 1886-1911
XIII/209-1-13, 13 boxes
Papers relating to various Chilean loans, including: Chilean 4% Loan, Coquimbo Railway Bonds 5% Loan, 1886-1905; Chilean 5% Loan, Copiapo Railway Bonds, City of Concepcion Bonds, 1909-1911.