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Govt ranks firms for investment

Apr 22 2010 08:30
Nellie Brand-Jonker

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Cape Town - The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) hopes to be able to announce a much more comprehensive corporate governance policy by August this year, which will direct its investment in companies.

The PIC - government's investment manager - is one of the biggest investment managers in the country and responsible for R700bn worth of assets. According to PIC corporate governance specialist Deon Botha, the institution's investments generally comprise about 10% of the JSE.

The new policy will replace the PIC's old corporate governance policy for mandate holders. It will be part of the mandate given to asset managers managing funds on behalf of the PIC.

Among other things, the policy contains new guidelines on the voting procedure at annual general meetings and will give companies an indication of the criteria by which they are judged.

According to Botha the policy is more comprehensive because it will have a greater focus on social and environmental concerns.

In the past the PIC perhaps focused too heavily on corporate governance issues, says Botha.

The policy also contains the new King 3 principles and the new Companies Act.

It will also include those aspects being assessed by the new PIC corporate governance rating system.

On Wednesday the rating system was announced at a conference and the first results made known.

The rating system was developed with the assistance of the University of Stellenbosch Business School's Unit for Corporate Governance in Africa.

The first results indicate that Nedbank, FirstRand and Anglo Platinum received the highest scores for their corporate governance, environmental and social policies.

Companies with the lowest scores included Naspers, Shoprite, Reinet and Remgro.





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