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France Limits Foreign Investors' Voting Rights

Neil Baker | December 10, 2010

The French government has passed a controversial law that, according to governance critics, will make it harder for foreign shareholders to exercise their voting rights.

President Nicolas Sarkozy signed a law this week that amends the country's Commercial Code, adding new measures about how voting works at company general meetings.

The amendments are aimed at all shareholders, but the International Corporate Governance Network says they would mainly affect foreign shareholders who exercise their votes by proxy.

The most damaging change allows a company to refer proxy votes to the French courts if they believe there is any doubt about how the underlying shareholder wanted its...

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