Art. 417, NCC: Shares of stocks are considered personal property

Shares of stocks are personal property, and therefore, can be the subject matter of a chattel mortgage. So are the certificates themselves evidencing the ownership of shares.

The capital stock of stock corporations shall be divided into shares for which certificates signed by the president or the vice-president, counter signed by the secretary or clerk and sealed with the seal of the corporation, shall be issued in accordance with the by-laws. Shares of stock so issued are personal property and may be transferred by delivery of the certificate indorsed by the owner or his attorney in fact or other person legally authorized to make the transfer. No transfer, however, shall be valid, except as between the parties, until the transfer is entered and noted upon the books of the corporation so as to show the names of the parties to the transaction, the date of the transfer the number of the certificate, and the number of shares transferred. (Section 35, Corporation Law)

It is to be noted, however, that section 35 of the Corporation Law (Act No. 1459) enacts that shares of stock “may be transferred by delivery of the certificate endorsed by the owner or his attorney in fact or other person legally authorized to make the transfer.” The use of the verb “may” does not exclude the possibility that a transfer may be made in a different manner, thus leaving the creditor in an insecure position even though he has the certificate in his possession. Moreover, the shares still standing in the name of the debtor on the books of the corporation will be liable to seizure by attachment or levy on execution at the instance of other creditors. (Cf. Uy Piaoco vs. McMicking, 10 Phil., 286, and Uson vs. Diosomito, 61 Phil., 535.) .

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