Minority Shareholders' Rights Group Formed

MANILA, Philippines --- A group of corporate governance advocates who are also members of the Management Association of the Philippines have organized the Shareholders' Association of the Philippines (SharePhil) to champion the rights of minority shareholders.

In a press briefing, SharePhil president Evelyn Singson noted that minority shareholders of both public and private firms as well as small stock market investors usually do not know what their rights are.

Thus, SharePhil intends to help educate investors about their rights since sharing information about fairness, transparency and good governance are key to attracting more investors in local companies.

"Increased transparency in governance along with better informed minority shareholders will encourage better understanding and cooperation among shareholders, minimizing corporate disputes and increasing trust and cooperation between management and shareholders," SharePhil said.

SharePhil Treasurer Jose Ma. K. Lim noted that minority shareholders tend to be shy about asking for updates, "so we would like to serve as means for shareholders to be able to reach the companies they invest in so they can understand the stories about the company and, in general, how management is conducted in that company."

For his part, SharePhil trustee and former Philippine Stock Exchange president Francisco Ed Lim pointed out that "the reason why a lot of our listed companies have low public float because these are not attractive" since there is a perception that these companies are not active in corporate governance.

"SharePhil partly answers my call for shareholder activism during my stint in the PSE. Experience in more developed markets indubitably shows that an engaged investing public fosters investor confidence in our market, which is essential to building a robust and vibrant stock market," Lim said

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