ESG Archive

Nov 01, 1997
The pundits have been out in force once more over the past few months. This is it. Continental European investors have developed a penchant for equity like never before. Forget the fixation with fixed-income investment or real estate plays, continental European institutional investors are shifting assets into equity like nobody's business. And they're hungry for more. This may well be it, but 'this' is nothing new. Hype about the development of a real continen...
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Nov 01, 1997
The UK's third blueprint for good governance is facing criticism from some leading institutional investors. Drawn up by a committee chaired by ICI's Sir Ronnie Hampel, the preliminary report stands accused of leaving key questions unanswered. Business leaders, however, have given it a more positive welcome. Hampel and his team are currently fielding responses before issuing a final report in December. Essentially, the committee's conclusion is that good govern...
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Nov 01, 1997
If a case were ever to be made against teleconferencing, Paris would rate high in the argument. After all, there is something profoundly wrong with any technology which reduces anyone's opportunities to visit the ville lumiPre. This thought crossed my mind as I sipped a pre-lunch Pineau de Charente in the belle Jpoque dining room of a grand hotel. How often, I wondered, must the city have been included in a roadshow program for the sheer lift to the spirits it...
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Nov 01, 1997
Time and again this magazine covers studies which suggest that the printed annual report remains one of the key sources for the financial community the world over. This month we consider the issue in depth in our survey. Most IR officers seem to recognize the importance of the annual report and devote huge amounts of time and effort to producing the document. More than often it's a cross-department affair with all hands to the wheel as deadlines approach. Seni...
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Nov 01, 1997
Singapore represents the gateway to Asia, not least because the airport is a key in-transit destination for flights to the region. As such, the tiny country has modeled itself as an international conference center and built up the appropriate hotels and facilities to support that role. Singapore also aspires to being seen as the region's key financial center. Yet it pales in comparison to Japan and Hong Kong. The government's claim that the city is snapping at...
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Oct 01, 1997
From Bombay to Boston, the push for consolidation in the financial services industry continues at a white-hot pace. Hokkaido Takushoku Bank of Japan and the UK's Barclays Bank announced a 'tie-in' arrangement in June, paving the way for Barclays to sell its financial products in Japan. The New York-based Bankers Trust Company and Nippon bank go one better: they merge by taking equity stakes in one another. The Bank of Montreal snatches up Chicago-based Harris B...
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Oct 01, 1997
Verily the high are cast as low, and the low are cast as high. Wall Street fell to wailing and much gnashing of teeth again this summer, although it skipped the sackcloth and ashes. It's far too hot and humid down there by Battery Park in August. Some even suggested it was time to go for a dip. Yup, it's apocalypse time, when pundits speak in tongues, preferably bifurcated, and investors are on the horns of a bull, if not a dilemma. But then some prophet...
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Oct 01, 1997
Hong Kong, June 1997: Beijing Yanhua, a giant PRC petrochemical company, is aiming for a market debut before the colony's handover. Yanhua has a great story: rapidly cutting costs, it's a market leader in the high end of China's petrochemical market - a market that is growing rapidly. But worldwide market forces are stacking up against this IPO: the international petrochemical cycle is in a downturn and won't hit bottom for another year and a half. Analysts ar...
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Oct 01, 1997
It's no secret that many companies are eyeing members of their affinity groups - that dream audience of customers, dealers, franchisees, suppliers, and employees already sold on the corporate story - as attractive potential shareholders. However, selling stock to affinity groups has always been a ticklish business. Only companies with their own direct-purchase plans - specially-designed programs for selling a company's stock directly to new and existing invest...
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Oct 01, 1997
The US has proven itself an outstanding exporter. Cars and TVs were popular for a time, until overseas companies followed with similar, and often better, products. Today - though it's hard to quantify - a major US export is undoubtedly its proxy voting power. Moreover, the techniques and mind set of Anglo-Saxon corporate activism are catching on worldwide. 'Money has become a conveyor belt carrying activism and governance principles across frontiers,' proclaims Step...
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