Return to the Forum homepage


Egyptian loans business

In the late nineteenth century, N M Rothschild & Sons, together de Rothschild Frères, Paris undertook several Egyptian loans:

1878 Egyptian State Domain 5% loan of £8,500,000, with an issue price of 73. Contracted for by N M Rothschild & Sons and de Rothschild Frères, Paris. The proceeds of all lands sold to be applied to the redemption of bonds. The cost of C, D and E bonds were £100, £500 and £1000 respectively.

1884 N M Rothschild & Sons advanced £1,000,000 to the Egyptian Government on account of the State Domains of Egypt. Under the Khedive Ismail, Egypt was modernised and achieved some prosperity, partly because of the demand for Egyptian cotton during the American Civil War. Europe was ready to lend huge sums to Egypt, which accumulated huge public debt. In accordance with a decree of the Khedive, Rivers Wilson, the Egyptian Finance Minister, contracted for this issue of bonds with N M Rothschild in London and de Rothschild Frères in Paris.  A committee of inquiry had recommended that members of the Khedive's family surrender their real estate and transfer it to the state in order to effect a settlement of the Government's financial position. The loan was secured on this transferred property.  

1885 The Egyptian Government contracted with N M Rothschild for the issue of the Egyptian Guaranteed 3% loan of £9,424,000. Issued by N M Rothschild & Sons under the joint guarantee of Great Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Italy and Russia, with an issue price of 95.5. This loan was raised by the Khedive in the year following an international conference on Egyptian finance held in London, and in pursuance of a convention signed on 18 March 1885 between the governments of Great Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey. "The success of the loan , says Mr John Reeves was remarkable the scene in St Swithins Lane on the morning the loan was issued was one not easily forgotten. New Court and its approaches were thronged with a huge eager struggling crown all anxious to obtain allotments. The stream of applicants poured in so fast that the whole loan was subscribed for soon after the doors were opened." The Bonds A, B, C, D and E were priced £10, £50, £100, £500 and £1000 respectively.

1888 Egyptian 4½% £2,230,000 loan, the price of issue was 95.5. Contracted for by N M  Rothschild & Sons, their Paris and Frankfurt houses and S Bleichroder, Berlin. The Khedive, in accordance with a Firman of the Sultan, authorised the Finance Minister to contract with N M Rothschild & Sons, de Rothschild Frères, M A von Rothschild & Sons (Frankfurt) and S Bleichröder (Berlin).

1890 Egyptian 3.5% Preference loan of £29,393,580 , with an issue price of 91. Contracted for by N M Rothschild & Sons, de Rothschild Frères, M A von Rothschild & Sons Frankfurt,  S Bleichroder and The Disconto Gesellschaft, Berlin for the conversion or redemption of the 5% Preference Bonds, the repayment of the 5% Preference Bonds, the repayment of the 4.5% loan of 1888 and to provide a sum of £1,300,000 for irrigation proposes and commutation of pensions.

1893 Egyptian State 4.5% £8,500,000 Domain. Interest on the Egyptian State Domain Mortgage Bonds reduced from 5% to 4.5%. Conversion carried out by N M Rothschild & Sons, de Rothschild Frères, Paris and the administration of the State Domains in Cairo.

Copies of outgoing correspondence relating to Egyptian business will be found in records of the Correspondence Department, Egyptian Letter Copy Books, 1878-1920, XI/147/0-4.

Egyptian State Domain Loan, sundry papers, 1878-1893

000/96, 2 boxes, 15 bundles

An extensive set of papers concerning the Egyptian State Domain Loan of 1878 and its conversion to a lower rate of interest in 1893, including contracts and agreements and drafts of the same; prospectuses; scrip and one cancelled bond; minutes of meetings; official Egyptian documents including decrees, official gazettes; a detailed account of the royal lands being mortgaged; papers from the mixed tribunal at Cairo concerning the 1878-1879 Egyptian State Domain loan (schedules of mortagaged lands); receipts between NMR and the Egyptian government; Egyptian newspapers; legal opinion on aspects of the loan; copy of a petition against the terms of the loan; and correspondence and copy correspondence in English and French between NMR and F.W. Rowsell, the Anglo-Egyptian Banking Co., Bouteron and Tambour, de Rothschild Frères, J.R. Lorent, Lord Tenterden, Charles Rivers Wilson, G. Coulon, Minister of Finance (Egypt), the British Foreign Office, the Imperial Ottoman Bank, Bank of England, Messrs Travers Smith & Co.

List available

Egyptian 3% Guaranteed loan, sundry papers, 1885

000/573/13, 1 file

Sundry correspondence and legal opinion concerning the Egyptian 3% Guaranteed loan, 1885.

Egyptian State Domain Loan, sundry papers, 1889-1912

XIII/211/1, 1 box

Papers concerning the Egyptian State Domain Loan, 1878.

Egyptian Preference 3½% Loan, sundry papers, 1890

XIII/217/1, 1 box

Papers relating to the Egyptian Preference 3½% Loan, £29.4m, with de Rothschild Frères, M. A. Rothschild & Söhne, S. Bleichröder and Disconto Gesellschaft, 1890.

Egyptian loans business, sundry papers, 1885-1908

000/573/13, 17, 18, 3 files

Sundry papers relating to Egyptian loans business, including

  • correspondence and sundry papers cponcerning the Egyptian 3% Guaranteed loan, 1885;
  • Agreement, 1 July 1887, between the Egyptian Finance Minister and NM Rothschild & Sons regarding the renewal of gold coinage; 
  • correspondence concderning the proposed Egyptian loan of £3 million, 1908. 

This collection originates from a tin trunk labelled 'Box 64' in the New Court vaults containing various items selected on grounds of historical interest by an unknown hand.