‘More rules needed for activist shareholders’

Dutch institutional investors and company executives are pressing for more rules to govern activist shareholders, news agency Reuters reports.

Rules about the identity of shareholders and shareholder behaviour could be improved, Roderick Munsters, a member of the government’s corporate governance committee, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Munsters was speaking to the Eumedion institutional investors group which he chairs.
The cabinet is planning to bring in more transparency and may lower the threshold at which a stake in a company has to be reported, Reuters says.
‘We have all seen that investors with a short term horizon and a strategy of shareholder activism try to make life miserable for companies,’ Jan Hommen, chairman of publishing group Reed Elsevier, was quoted as saying. ‘They have no loyalty at all to the company or other stakeholders.’
ASM International is the latest in a string of Dutch firms, including ABN Amro and Ahold, which have fallen prey to shareholder activism.

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