物言う株主 企業価値向上へ対話の道探れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 29, 2013
Firms, shareholders must pursue dialogue to raise corporate value
物言う株主 企業価値向上へ対話の道探れ(6月28日付・読売社説)

Activist shareholders, including foreign funds that apply pressure on corporate management, have made their presence felt at recent shareholders meetings for the first time in a long time.
 企業経営に圧力をかける海外ファンドら「物言う株主」が、久しぶりに存在感を示した。

Through their resurgence, Japanese firms face a heavy challenge regarding how to improve corporate value through management reform.
 経営改革によって、企業価値をいかに向上させるか。経営陣は重い課題を突きつけられたと指摘できる。

The annual wave of general shareholders meetings of companies with business terms that ended in March has passed its peak. Activist shareholders were at center stage.
 今年3月期決算企業の株主総会がピークを越えた。焦点は「物言う株主」の動向だった。

At a meeting of Seibu Holdings Inc., its largest shareholder, Cerberus Capital Management LP, argued against management policy and proposed eight director candidates of its own. But the U.S. fund failed to gain majority approval for its proposal as all the candidates recommended by Seibu were elected to the board of directors.
 西武ホールディングスでは、筆頭株主である米ファンドのサーベラスが経営方針に異を唱え、独自の取締役候補を提案した。しかし、多数の賛成を得られず、会社提案の取締役が選任された。

Before the shareholders meeting, Cerberus had pressed for reform of Seibu’s management through such moves as a takeover bid. Seibu argued against the Cerberus reform plan, leading to deepened confrontation with the U.S. fund. But Seibu appears to have managed to block the Cerberus offensive for the moment.
 サーベラスは、株主総会前に株式公開買い付け(TOB)も仕掛けるなど経営改革を迫った。西武は反論し、対立が深まったが、攻勢をひとまず退けたといえる。

Nevertheless, Seibu’s reform is still pending as it seeks to be relisted. The company must tackle that difficult challenge while relations with its largest shareholder go unrepaired.
 ただし、再上場を目指す西武の改革は途上である。筆頭株主との関係が修復できないまま、難題に取り組まざるをえない。

Questions to answer

Sony Corp. had been asked by a U.S. fund, one of its major shareholders, to spin off its movie and music business and list the new entity on the stock market. But Sony took a wary stance toward dividing up its businesses, arguing that synergistic effects can be expected with the manufacturing of TV sets and other businesses.
 ソニーは、大株主の米ファンドから映画・音楽事業の分離と上場を求められたものの、テレビ事業などとの相乗効果が見込めるとして分離に慎重だった。

At its shareholders meeting, however, Sony was pressed on the separation issue by other shareholders. As a result, Sony announced a plan to study the demand. Improving earning capacity through reconstruction of its main line of business, including production of TV sets, has now become an important task for the Sony management.
 株主総会では、他の株主からも分離問題を追及され、この要求を検討していく方針を表明した。テレビなどの主力事業を立て直し、収益力を向上させることが重要な経営課題となった。

Stable shareholders, including banks and business customers, account for a majority of shareholders in Japanese firms, so management often lacks a perspective of paying attention to shareholders. Japanese companies tend to put a low priority on earnings power and returning profits to shareholders.
 日本の企業では、銀行や取引先など安定株主が多数を占め、株主の声に耳を傾ける意識に乏しい経営陣が多い。収益力や株主への利益還元が物足りない面もある。

More parties heard from

Abenomics, the economic policy pursued by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has drawn fresh global attention to the Japanese economy. As a result, the ratio of foreign holders of Japanese equities reached a record high of about 30 percent as of the end of March.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」によって日本経済が注目された効果で、外国人株主の日本株保有比率が3月末に過去最高の約3割に達した。

In addition to foreigners, the number of Japanese shareholders who strongly press demands, such as expansion of profits to improve corporate value, is certain to increase. Management must be prepared to listen sincerely to shareholders’ voices.
 今後、外国人だけでなく、利益拡大など企業価値の向上に一段と厳しく注文を付ける株主は増えるに違いない。経営陣は株主の声を真摯(しんし)に聞く姿勢が必要である。

It is laudable that Toyota Motor Corp. and many other Japanese firms decided at this year’s shareholders meetings to adopt outside board directors, thereby meeting the requests of shareholders.
 今年の総会で、トヨタ自動車など多くの企業が社外取締役の起用を決め、株主の要望に応えた点は評価できよう。

Nonetheless, shareholders’ demands for short-term stock price increases and higher dividends are not always right. Investment in personnel training and research and development is also vital from the viewpoint of enhancing corporate competitiveness in the medium and long term.
 無論、短期的な株価上昇や配当増額を求める株主の主張が、必ずしも正しいとは言えない。人材育成や研究開発など、中長期的に競争力を高める投資も重要だ。

Management has a responsibility to present reasonable policy and continue dialogue with shareholders even if it turns down their specific demands.
 経営陣が株主の主張を退けるにしても、対話を重ね、合理的な方針を示す「説明責任」が要る。

Improving corporate value is a common goal for firms and shareholders. They will be required to accelerate management reform amid their tense relationship.
 企業価値の向上は、企業と株主の共通目標である。互いに緊張関係を保ちながら、経営改革を加速することが求められよう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 28, 2013)
(2013年6月28日01時27分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-06-30 06:50 | 英字新聞

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