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Minority shareholder drives opposed

Posted March. 07, 2001 17:52,   


Business groups urged restraint Wednesday on the part of backers of the minority shareholders` movement, which is led by the People`s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), a local civic group. The deputy chairmen of the five major pro-business organizations, including Sohn Byung-Doo of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and Kim Hyo-Sung of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), issued a joint communique Tuesday at the Hotel Lotte in Seoul calling on participants in the movement to seek the best interests of all shareholders.

In the declaration, they said, the actions of the minority shareholders` movement have resulted in lower external credit ratings for a number of domestic enterprises and a failure to maximize the interests of shareholders by fostering increases in corporate value. The movement should be pushed in such a way as to achieve its original aim of maximizing shareholders` interests by clamping down on managers who infringe on shareholders` profits. The groups also said that civic organizations were targeting healthy flagship companies in an attempt to enhance the movement`s status and successes. Arguing that the civic groups were trying make changes based on political rather than economic theory, a representative of big business said, ``The movement will only lower the effectiveness and value of corporations and damage shareholders` interests.``

The statement from the five economic organizations came at a time when the PSPD is moving to stage a voting showdown and in the wake of its decision to back the selection of lawyer Junn Sung-Chull as a Samsung Electronics` director at a general shareholders` meeting Friday.