Professional investors wary of Dutch anti-takeover measures

Foreign institutional investors have expressed concern about several corporate takeover protection constructions being considered by the Dutch government.
The International Corporate Governance Network, an association of institutional investors, has written a letter to the Dutch finance ministry detailing its objections.
The one year ‘legal time-out’ for hostile takeovers is its chief concern:
‘It is our view that this is an unduly harsh provision that damages shareholder protections to the detriment of good corporate governance, efficient markets and sustainable value creation,’ said Kerrie Waring, ICGN executive director.
‘We believe introduction of such an extreme provision would work against the interests of institutional investors and their beneficiaries — including pension funds and pensioners.’
The London-based group said the passage of such a measure would carry economic disadvantages and put the Dutch market and its companies in an unfavourable light from the perspective of the  global institutional investment community.
The ICGN pointed out that almost 90% of the shares in Dutch listed companies are owned by institutional investors, most of which are based outside The Netherlands.
‘Given the size and the open nature of the Dutch economy it is important to maintain the trust of these investors in the Dutch corporate governance system,’ the group stressed.
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