Stefanie Yuen Thio comments in LHZB: “不满足于持股等待上涨 更多投资者参与维权”

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News

14 January 2020

Stefanie Yuen Thio comments in LHZB: “不满足于持股等待上涨 更多投资者参与维权”

Features Stefanie Yuen Thio

In a news story “(Activist investors) not content with holding stocks and waiting for rise; Requests to improve business and increase dividends” published by the Lianhe Zaobao on 14 January 2020, TSMP Law Corporation Joint Managing Partner Stefanie Yuen Thio said that in Singapore, activist investors usually refer to minority investors who try to rally more people to join their cause so that they have a louder – and thus more persuasive – voice when they raise their grouses to management. In some cases, a shareholder activist is a minority shareholder with a significant stake trying to take over or change the management of the company or change the direction of the business. In some countries, there are activist hedge funds, professionally managed fund managers, have turned this into a business model. They will identify (typically) under-performing companies and then take a stake in it and use that stake to put pressure on the company to change, whether in its strategy, financial structure, management, or board.

She added that in some cases, retail investor activists have been very effective, such as where they objected to what they perceived as an unfair application of rules. The minority shareholders of Vard made enough of a point that the SGX Regco has since changed the delisting rules to address concerns raised in that case. However, many Singapore listed companies are still majority owned by the founders and in such cases, it is difficult for a minority shareholder to take on the controlling shareholder.

The relevant section verbatim in Mandarin: 义正律师事务所(TSMP Law)联合主管合伙人张祉盈说,在本地,维权投资者往往包括号召更多人一同向管理层表达不满的小股东,有时则包括拥有显著股权的小股东试图改变公司的管理层或业务方向。

不过,在一些国家,对冲基金和专业的基金经理把维权作为商业模式,寻找表现不佳的公司,通过持有股权来对公司施压,要求公司改变策略、财务架构、管理层或董事会。

张祉盈指出,有时散户投资者的维权行动非常有效,例如Vard小股东的行动便使得新加坡交易所监管公司修改除牌条例。

“不过,许多新加坡挂牌公司仍然由创办人持有主要股权,小股东要对控股股东采取行动很困难。”