Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bruce Sheppard: Another Asset Theft

Bruce Sheppard is a non-politically correct agent
provocateur and founder of the New Zealand
Shareholders' Association. An accountant by
profession, he is passionate about New Zealand
but has no hesitation in exposing its shortcomings.
He is regularly sighted tackling Auckland's traffic
armed only with a bicycle.

Bruce Sheppard in Stirring the Pot from| 1:26 pm 4 March 2008

This government thinks it is OK to interfere in the private property rights of its citizens, and dresses this up as the protection of the national interest. Last year Telecom got dealt to, this year it is Auckland Airport, next year who will it be?

While I had little empathy with the Canadian bid and was not going to vote in favour of it with my shares, I will now support a yes vote and an acceptance. Then I will let the Government tell 10’s of thousands of New Zealanders that they can’t have their money.

As far as the NZ control/ ownership issue is concerned the horse bolted years ago. Auckland International Airport is already over 40 per cent foreign owned. Who cares if it is a selection of hedge funds or a Canadian pension fund if it is just about ownership? Frankly a pension fund is better as at least they will take a long-term view , hedge funds just look for the next quick profit fix.

If it is control, then not much changes. The Canadians have guaranteed that the board will have enough independent directors to remain an independently governed company still listed in NZ.

What is more important here is the crown interference. What this does is undermine the effectiveness of our capital markets and it also increases the risk of investing in NZ if you are a foreigner. Obviously the repricing of risk internationally is having an effect on our sharemarket and this sort of short sighted nonsense from our politicians will simply make matters worse.

If you want to fix foreign ownership of NZ Inc, you have to encourage Kiwis to own NZ instead. To do this our people have to stop spending $1.14 for every dollar they earn. It is not rocket science, the 14c is funded with debt or asset sales. Now why would a New Zealander who is saving, invest in NZ when the Government appropriates economic advantages on one ill-conceived whim or another? Much easier to invest offshore out of Michael Cullen’s sticky, thieving hands.

Related Share Investor reading

Cullen's move on Airport has far reaching effects

Fran O'Sullivan: Cullen's shock move hinders Airport bid
Cullen's move on AIA tax plan Anti-Business
NZ Herald: Airport Deal not so sweet after tax break blocked
NZX Press Release: AIA directors recommend shareholders sell
AIA profit stays grounded
Softening opposition to CPPIB bid for AIA
Directors of AIA bribe brokers not to sell
What is Auckland Airport worth to you?
Second bite at AIA by CPPIB might just fly
AIA new directors must focus on shareholders
Auckland Airport merger deal nosedives
The Canadians have landed
AIA incentive scheme must fly out the window
Government market manipulation over AIA/DAE deal
DAE move on AIA: Will it fly?

Disclosure: I own AIA shares

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