This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Pan African Resources AGM Report – a minor victory for shareholders on buy-backs

Pan African Resources is a South African gold mining company, but they are registered in the UK and hence hold their AGMs in London. This year it was at 10.00 am on the 22nd November in the City of London despite shareholders complaining about the 10.00 am start time last year. A full report is here, but here are some of the noteworthy points.

Only the Chairman Keith Spencer was present from the directors, and he said the main reason for absence was them trying to save expenses. Hester Hickey, one of the Non-Execs, was going to attend but became sick.

Share Allotment Resolution Defeated

On resolution 12, concerning pre-emption rights on share allotment, there were major objections to this from three institutional holders and hence a poll on that resolution was taken, even though it was only the usual  10% of issued equity.  The resolution was defeated as it has been before at this company and it is only a minor inconvenience.

Share Buy-Back Voted Down on the “Show of Hands Vote”

Shareholder Gerald Roberts asked when the resolution on share buy-backs might be used and whether it had been used in the past. The answer was they have never used it and would only use it if cash flow justified it. Mr Roberts indicated his opposition to share buy-backs but another shareholders spoke in favour – he said it enables the directors to give signals to the market (presumably to tell them they think the company is cheap, but the problem with that argument is that directors are sometimes deluded about the merits of their company). On the vote, there were two hands opposed, including mine, versus one in favour , even though there were about ten shareholders present – yes it helps not to have more than one director present! So the Chairman called a poll on that resolution also. The result was 86.5% in favour and 13.4% opposed which was enough to carry it but is more opposition than one normally gets.

It is a pity more shareholders do not vote against market share buy-backs, but perhaps this company will set a new example for others to follow.

Roger Lawson

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