EFES NEWSLETTER - SEPTEMBER 2008
ownership in tough times
"Investing employee retirement money in company stock
is not just risky: It's idiotic"
(in American press). Yet in present times, numerous French
companies are launching new global plans (see press review)…
Many American companies are bought by employees through
ESOPs… German government has now just decided for a new
supportive legislation in 2009… French employees didn't
reduce their employee savings so much, yet President Sarkozy
encouraged them to spend it and to boost consumption… The
chairman of British employee-owned retailer John Lewis Partnership
promises no job cuts in tough times… All idiots?
Finland – Germany - Spain
Finland brings a good example of employee ownership
development in 2008. Compared to 2007, employees' share
in capital raised from 1.56% to 1.89% (+21%) on average
in the 61 largest Finnish companies. Due to troubles on
financial markets, the market capitalisation of the 61 companies
decreased from 215 to 213 billion Euro (-1%), while employees'
shareholdings grew from 3.3 to 4 billions Euro (+20%). This
is based on our survey of employee ownership in European
companies, being now updated for year 2008. Things are not
so good in Germany: Employees' share in capital appears
to be unchanged in 2008 compared to 2007 (1.72%) – It is
time for a better legislation. Things are even worst for
Spain: Employees' share in capital decreased from 1.57%
in 2007 to 1.45% in 2008.
Much new information about employee ownership in July
and August 2008, with 1.113 articles in this press review
(on which 366 involving stock options and 216 about
workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of 50
remarkable articles in 13 countries: Belgium, France, Germany,
France, India, Italy, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway,
UK, USA, Vietnam, South Africa.
France: Numerous large companies are launching new
global plans. Still various options in French policy: French
Government will develop employee savings, while on the other
hand, President Sarkozy encourages people to spend their
savings to boost private consumption.
Germany: On August 26, German Government finally
decided about the new legislation for employee share ownership.
A good step forward for employee ownership in Germany.
India: The Government has started the process of
selling shares in an initial public offering for the largest
state-owned phone company BSNL (304.000 workers). Each employee
will be offered share through employee stock option plans.
However, unions reject the plan.
Namibia: When it was time for the South African economy
to more appropriately reflect the demographics of its population,
they settled for transferring a 25 per cent stake of the
economy to black people. A typical black economic empowerment
(BEE) transaction allocates 40 per cent (of the 25 per cent
share) to the so-called black entrepreneurs, 30 per cent
to an employee share ownership scheme and 30 per cent to
a broad-based ownership scheme.
The press review is available
This is how much an employee held in 2007, on average, in
UBS 83.000 €
SocGen 49.000 €
BNP Paribas 38.000 €
Total 55.000 €
Novartis 61.000 €
Mondragon 56.000 €
CréditSuisse 84.000 €
AXA 46.000 €
Vinci 24.000 €
CréditAgricole 40.000 €
new on EFES website?
NEWS distribution: 105.000