Daily Media Briefing 3rd October

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Environment, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

October 03, 2012

Finance & Banking

L&G continues fight against excessive pay

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of the UK’s biggest shareholders, has stepped up efforts to crack down on excessive pay by voting against 18 remuneration committee chairmen so far this year. It is the first time that LGIM has voted against those responsible for setting pay levels for chief executives, in a sign of growing shareholder activism. LGIM, which owns about four percent of the UK stock market, voted against remuneration committee chairmen at companies such as WPP, Barclays and Trinity Mirror. A senior UK fund manager said: “This shows there has been a sea-change in the way shareholders are approaching remuneration.” (Financial Times*)


Amplats hit by more strikes in South Africa

Following yesterday’s news, industrial action at Anglo American Platinum (Amplat)’s South Africa operations have spread to a new mine as the company takes disciplinary action against striking workers.  Amplats, the world’s top producer of platinum, said staff at its union mine in Limpopo province, northern South Africa, reported for work but refused to go underground and instead presented a list of demands, including wage increases. The company is already grappling with a more than two-week wildcat strike that has affected its mines in Rustenburg employing more than 20,000 staff, and accounting for more than 20 percent of its production. (Financial Times*, Guardian)

Corporate Reputation

Bumi investors refuse to put more money in to loss-making venture

Shareholders in Bumi, the mining venture brought to London by financier Nat Rothschild, have said they are not prepared to put more money into his venture unless it can achieve a total change in strategy. A source told The Times, that Bumi shareholders in London were “fed up” after losing 84 percent of their money since buying into the company’s float in 2011. However, Bumi Resources, which is at the centre of a corruption investigation launched by major stakeholder Bumi plc, said that it might need to ask shareholders for more money if it could not raise enough to start to pay off a debt of more than $4bn. (Times*)


Plant set to boost biofuel output

One of Europe’s biggest ethanol plants will start production in northern England by the end of the year. The Vivergo plant in Yorkshire is part of an increase in biofuel production capacity planned for Britain over the next few years. Another plant, run by Ensus, in Teesside also recently resumed operations. The UK remains well behind world leaders in biofuel production such as the US and Brazil, but this new capacity will narrow the gap with other EU countries, and should help Britain get closer to its green energy targets. However, while biofuel is cleaner than fossil fuels, its use as an alternative to petroleum is controversial as its main input is grain, pushing up global food prices and often relying on high carbon inputs. (Financial Times*)

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