Parmalat Damages Agreed

U.S. judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, has ruled that two lawsuits brought by Parmalat Finanziaria SpA bond and share holders and Parmalat SpA CEO Enrico Bondi, can proceed against auditing firm Grant Thornton International in relation to the collapse of Parmalat Finanziaria in 2003.… Read the rest

Code of Conduct for Proxy Advisors

The Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at the Yale School of Management has made a series of proposals to boost transparency among institutional investors and the proxy voting services that advise them. In addition to investor transparency about policy, engagement; voting resources and tactics, the Center is also proposing a code of professional conduct for proxy services.… Read the rest

Dutch Finance Minister Bos Slams Shareholders

Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos today hit out at shareholders for doing ‘virtually nothing’ to prevent the current financial crisis.

Speaking to the International Corporate Governance conference in Amsterdam, Bos used the platform as an opportunity to make a forthright attack on the role of shareholders in the current financial crisis: “The financial crisis is more than one-and-a-half years old.… Read the rest

Eastern Europe Governance Disclosures Decline

The East West Management Institute (EWMI) has released the latest findings of its semi-annual survey of online investor relations of the ten largest listed company by market cap in 11 Central and Eastern European Countries. According to research assistant, Igor Solodovnik, the results show a disappointing decrease in disclosure standards across all the categories surveyed.… Read the rest

SEC moves to block broker votes

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has moved a step closer to approving the New York Stock Exchange’s Rule 452 proposal to eliminate broker discretionary voting in director elections.  This proposal was developed by the Exchange’s Proxy Working Group in 2006.… Read the rest

Xstrata shareholders hit the ballots

It’s lucky for Xstrata that it’s listed in the UK rather than France otherwise their EGM results announcement would have a different story to tell about the level of shareholder unhappiness at yesterday’s meeting to approve the Glencore deal. Put another way, shareholders didn’t lend the overwhelming support to Xstrata’s proposals that the company would like you to think.… Read the rest

UK Rights Issues – New Subscription Periods

The UK’s FSA has moved swiftly to address the market’s concerns about rights issues  timetable problems. Until mid-February 2009 the Listing Rules’ required a 21 day subscription period; this has now been reduced to 10 business days.

The new subscription is a minimum subscription period and applies only to non-statutory rights issues (i.e.… Read the rest

Japanese Proxy Agency Founder Dies

Manifest is very sad to report the passing of Miss Kuny Kobayashi, the founder of Governance Visions, a Japanese proxy voting agency. We first got to know Kuny during Manifest’s partnership with IRRC and we were impressed with her determination to reform the governance and proxy problems in the Japanese market.… Read the rest