Sunday, July 5, 2015

Revisiting Twenty Year Old (Lost) Shares


Take care of everything that you own. Or else, somebody would enjoy it on your behalf.

In the 90s, I came to know through my uncle that his dad - my Tok Bab - owned a few acres of land in Kuala Kubu Baru. We were sure that the land is worth millions now.  Even if they are not, they would be worth a small fortune.

But with his demise, where would I even start?

Similarly, we know that my maternal grandma also owned a few acres of land in Lenggeng, but who am I to start digging about all these properties? After all, her children - my aunties and uncles - are still alive and they should be the one who would be interested to get their hands on their mother's properties. I am after all, just a grandchildren.

As of now, someone else would be enjoying them.

PETRONAS Shares Twenty years on.

It is with this in mind that I started to dig into my own affairs to ensure my children would not face such dilemma. That everything that I own are known to them and are documented, and they would not have to fight with anybody to enjoy the benefit of the father's labour.

When I was working for an oil company, I was given two lots of an subsidiary that was listed that particular year. It was probably circa 93/94, I don't remember the exact year, to be honest. But soon after, I resigned and moved South, living in JB but working in Singapore.

With the hectic work schedule, and pace, coupled with the long commute, I had no choice but concentrate on my work and forget about the trivial stuff. Then I moved back to KL and later on the family move to Houston.

I have not forgotten about the shares I own, but at RM2.50 a piece, and not seeing them move much, I would prefer to not even think about it. I might as well try to earn more money elsewhere than trying to create a fortune from the small number of shares that I have. I knew the broker firm that I had signed on has long cease operation, and being someone not in the financial industry, I have no clue where to even start.

The shares were in the back of mind. Important, but not critical to my life.

Until early 2015 when I went to an investment seminar at the behest of my partner. While having my tea with a broker, I told him that while I am inactive in shares,  I probably have a couple of thousand shares of Petronas, which I bought at the original price or at discounted staff price.

The broker told me that in Sept 2014, they were worth RM34.00, I am told. A whopping RM34.00 per share, but now it was worth RM16.00.

Really?  I was surprised, and excited. Now I am interested to retrieve my shares. I really am interested. It is worth half of what it was 3 months ago, but still a lot more than what I had paid for them.

Fortunately, the broker at MIB was kind enough to dig as to who took over the operations of my broking firm. A couple of phone calls and a visit to their HQ, the problem is solved. I was given a new account, with my shares intact.

Alhamdulillan, and in the meantime, it is now worth at least RM20.00. 

But what about all the dividends that were paid the past twenty years? I had not gotten any.  I no longer lived in my registered address. I was all over the place. There had been too many homes, and houses that I had lived in. They would not know where to get hold of me.

I had to contact the company that handles PETRONAS shares. Symphony was kind enough to dig into their own record from 1995. Even with today's MIS and all the wonderful software applications, not all have been updated into their database. Mind you, the early to mid-90s, it was just the beginning of computerization, and even then another company was handling this share. But did they did recover the info, and after 6 months, they were able to have a clear picture of my shares. Apparently I have only received the first three dividends, and by 2014, they had issued 51 cheques for dividend altogether.

Four of the 51 cheques.
So immediately they issued 4 current cheques (for year ending Dec 2014) this week (in July 2015). How much? I can assure you that I am thankful.

Most of these dividends have been sent to Unclaimed Monies Registrar, and I would have to request that these monies be re-paid to me. Dividend alone, I calculated, they have been worth twice the original worth of the shares. Not too much, I guess, but more than enough as far as I am concerned. I did not realize that I have such monies in the first place, and I am nearly there to retrieve all that are due to me.

The share price has dropped quiet a bit since the height of Sept 2014, due to the depressed oil price, but they are still 8-9 times of what I originally paid for them. I am hoping sooner or later it would be back at RM30 or more. Wishful thinking may be, but again, I am thankful to Allah. 

If I had been meticulous enough during those days monitoring the share market, I would have probably sold them, as the prices has not risen that much the first ten 10 year. I probably would have gained RM0.50 perhaps over issuance price.

But persevere, or in my case, I just lost interest in it, and revisiting them nearly 20 years later, I found my small fortune.

20 years after I left my service at the national oil corporation, I am still reaping of the good work done by the management, indirectly and directly. I am proud to be part of it and contributing in my own small way during my time.

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