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Types of Shares

There are two basic types of shares: registered shares which are made out to the owner's name and bearer shares, where the holder of the share in the corporation is unknown but can nevertheless enforce his rights as a shareholder. Shares can have other properties as well.

Standard registered shares Owners of registered shares are entered in the share register of the company in question. This means that the company knows the names, dates of birth and addresses of its shareholders and the number of shares purchased. This gives the company an overview of the ownership of its shares and it is able to contact shareholders directly. When an investor buys shares, the investor's bank is required to provide the company with information on the new shareholder promptly.
Registered shares with restricted transferability Registered shares with restricted transferability can only be transferred with the approval of the company's board of directors. The advantage for the company is that it knows who its shareholders are. Moreover, the articles of association may stipulate circumstances in which entry in the share register may be refused.
Voting shares as registered shares In the absence of any specific provision in the public limited company's articles of association, shareholders' voting rights are based on the total nominal value of the shares owned by the shareholders. Voting shares allow a company to depart from the equal distribution of voting rights. These shares confer greater voting powers in relation to their capital share. The nominal value of voting shares may not be less than one tenth of that of the other shares.