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Corporate Procedures In Russian Companies Relocate Into The Internet

A first in legislative innovation – notifying stockholders about meetings through the Internet.

Chairman of Duma’s Ownership committee Victor Pleskachevcky has prepared amendments relieving stock companies with over 1000 holders of voting shares from an obligation to serve each stockholder notification and voting ballot under signed receipt. The amendments will be discussed during autumn session of the legistature.

Article 60 of the Federal Law “On Joint Stock Companies” requires to stockholders be notified via certified letters. Companies with over 500,000 shareholders may publish documents in the printed mass media. “Vedomosti” was not able to locate companies with such high number of voting stockholders. The largest company found was the Federal Grid Company (FSK), with 422,773 stockholders at the end of first quarter of 2009. The draft bill proposes to extend simplified notification procedures to include companies with 1000 voting stockholders. They would also be obligated to repeat the information on the company’s website. The name of the printed media and website to be used for these purposes must be included in the company charter.

Lowering the threshold would allow companies not to spend significant funds on letters, explained Pleskachevsky. A standard mailing consisting of a notice and six voting ballots costs 117,000 rubles for 1000 people. FSK would have to spend 47,4 million rubles to reach all of its stockholders.

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