The Marine Trust Limited (Otzar Mifalei Yam) was established 1936, in order to fund the construction and maintenance of Jewish ports in the Land of Israel. The company’s first aim was to build a port in Tel Aviv, as a substitute for the Jaffa Port, which was shut down during the Arab Revolt that began that year. The British Mandate Government approved the building of a commercial pier in northern Tel Aviv, provided that it would not fund it. On May 15, 1936, the Marine Trust Limited received the permit to construct the port.
The British Mandate Government and the Tel Aviv municipality received controlling shares in the company (50% of the stock, currently founders’ shares) and the rest of the shares (PP 1 ordinary shares) were sold to the public. The ordinary shares were issued, some as registered shares and others as bearer shares.
After the State of Israel was established, the shares of the British Mandate Government were handed over to the Government of Israel. To this day, the Marine Trust Limited is a mixed government company.
The Tel Aviv Port was officially inaugurated on February 23, 1938, with unloading of cement bags from a ship anchored far from the port. The first porters were Jews of Thessaloniki origin, who had worked at their native city’s port. The port ceased to operate in November 1965, following the opening of the Ashdod Port. Since 2011, the Marine Trust Limited is responsible for the renovation and development of the Tel Aviv Port and for turning it into an entertainment and commercial space.
The certificate features the signature of Eliezer Hoofien (1881-1957), who served as the company’s president. Hoofien served as CEO of the Anglo-Palestine Bank from 1925 to 1947. He was an accountant by training, and as was the custom among accountants during that period, would sign using a green-ink pen. However, this certificate features only his printed signature, which can also be seen on the first bills issued by the State of Israel in 1948 (the Anglo-Palestine series).
(From Barlev collection of Securities Certificates)