GERMANY - The German government is considering legislation that would make it more difficult for stealth takeovers such as Porsche SE's acquisition of shares in Volkswagen AG, the Finance Ministry said.
"Specifically, we're looking at Volkswagen and Porsche, where a certain type of option seemed to play a prominent role."
A law making transactions involving cash-settled options subject to regulatory disclosure is already under discussion and could be passed as early as March, the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported today, citing unnamed lawmakers in chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition.
Lawyers and investors have said that Porsche's use of options to build a stake in Volkswagen took advantage of flaws in German securities laws and called for companies to be obliged to disclose transactions sooner.
US pension fund TIAA-CREF wrote to German finance minister Peer Steinbrueck to say the VW- Porsche case was "unacceptable", according to the FTD report.
BaFin, Germany's financial-market regulator, is probing trading in Volkswagen after the carmaker's shares soared almost fourfold over two days last month, pulling up the benchmark DAX index by 12% on 27-28 October. The surge followed a 26 October statement by Porsche that it held 42.6% of Volkswagen's shares and had secured so-called cash settled options for another 31.5%.
"We constantly watch markets and if we see the need to act, we will do so," Olbermann said.
The Howden Group Pension Plan has completed a full pensioner buy-in with Legal & General (L&G), insuring benefits for around 2,000 members.
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Concern about the potential impact on employer covenants has been rated the top risk for defined benefit (DB) schemes, according to a PTL survey.
Jonathan Stapleton says the DWP's progress on CDC is a welcome, and cautious, step forward.