A new Parliamentary petition has been raised to give all shareholders a voice by bringing Company Law into the 21st Century. It includes the requirement to make email a requirement for shareholding registration which is an important way to improve shareholder communication both from and to shareholders.
See https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/636051 . PLEASE SIGN IT!
Today I watched the Annual General Meeting of Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) – all two and half hours of it. I no longer attend meetings in person, particularly FTSE-100 company ones, due to physical incapacity and an unwillingness to be bored.
The Chairman said they are now more aligned with societal aspirations and have a critical role to play in energy transition. But there are environmental dilemmas arising in a critical industry. It was later mentioned that the world needs to produce more copper in the next 20 years than has ever been produced! They cannot overstate the scale of the challenge.
There was an interesting precis of the history of this 150-year-old company. The company had a Return on Capital Employed of 25% last year but has not always been so careful about its capital investment as one shareholder pointed out who was concerned about rising debt levels.
Most of the questions from attendees, including those on-line, referred to local issues in Arizona, Serbia, Australia and Mongolia, particularly environmental protection issues. The Chairman seemed to handle them well and the meeting was generally well run. There were no surprises.
I am happy to continue holding the shares. Current forecast p/e is 8.5 and dividend yield 7.4%.
Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson )
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