Financial Markets Across the European Union Misled and Misinformed by Inconsistencies in Investor Disclosures

By Capital Precision Ltd, PRNE
Monday, February 14, 2011

How a "Company Initiated" Request Will Solve the Problem

LONDON, February 15, 2011 - Too many public companies in much of Europe struggle to identify who
owns, votes or influences their shares. Public disclosures made by
institutional investors are not only ineffective; they can misinform the
market. The current system also jeopardises the governance objective of
increasing engagement between companies and their investors.

Today, Capital Precision, the market intelligence service and a member of
King Worldwide, launches its White Paper Seeing More Clearly: Ownership
Disclosures Are Not Fit For Purpose. The White Paper argues that
inconsistencies in national European reporting regulations, with different
thresholds, different timeframes, and different levels of transparency for
derivatives, show that one-size-fit-all rules are simply not up to the task.
It provides evidence of a two-speed market for companies; those who have the
right to demand the identity of their shareholders, and those who do not.
This is unfair, and risks creating a false market in the latter companies'

"Companies need to know who owns their shares", says Mark Simms, CEO of
Capital Precision. "Without this information, engaging investors - as well as
targeting new sources of capital - is made extremely difficult; as does
providing accurate information to investors during a takeover or merger.

"What is needed, Capital Precision asserts, is a company or 'Issuer
Initiated Enquiry'; a pan European legal right for companies to require
reporting of the chain of ownership. At present, this is available in
selected member states such as the UK and France, but not all, so creating a
two-speed market. The Issuer Initiated Enquiry would allow a company listed
on a regulated exchange in the EU to issue a notice requiring an investor it
knows, or believes, has an interest in its shares to confirm that fact. It
would also allow the company to pursue information through a chain of
nominees by requiring that each link in the chain disclose the person for
whom they are acting.

"The Issuer Initiated Enquiry would ensure a proportionate solution that
wouldn't flood the market with unnecessary disclosures, or require new
expensive processes for investors," Simms concludes.

A copy of the White Paper is available at

About Capital Precision Ltd

    - Capital Precision provides capital markets intelligence to over 200 of
    the world's largest companies and their advisors. Specialising in global
    shareholder analysis, global bondholder analysis, stress testing,
    institutional targeting and fund tracking, the company's unique and
    innovative skills are commissioned for both investor relations programs
    and corporate transactions.

    - Capital Precision is a member of the King Worldwide Group of Companies.
    These companies advise clients in the preparation and delivery of
    communications strategies covering all aspects of their business and
    stakeholder audience in today's global marketplace.

    - King Worldwide consultants bring together a deep experience of the
    changing media environment with an understanding of the diverse demands
    of different stakeholder groups from investors, customers, regulators and
    employees to commentators, analysts and pundits.
    For further information:
    Mark Simms, CEO, Capital Precision
    Mark Hynes, Consultant
    Capital Precision +44(0)207-920-6900

For further information: Mark Simms, CEO, Capital Precision msimms at, Mark Hynes, Consultant mhynes at, Capital Precision +44(0)207-920-6900

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