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U.S. SEC nudges Franklin Resources toward vote on Sudan holdings

Author: Ross Kerber, Reuters, Published on: 9 January 2014

U.S. regulators rejected a request by investment firm Franklin Resources Inc [holding company for Franklin Templeton] to skip a shareholder vote pressuring it to sell off holdings in companies linked to Sudan, whose president faces international war crimes charges. The decision...by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made it more likely that the company will put the measure on proxy materials to be mailed to shareholders...Shareholder activists praised the SEC's decision in part because it called their human-rights concerns a "significant policy issue." This wording was stronger than the agency has used when evaluating similar proposals in the past... Investors Against Genocide...has pressed financial companies for years over their investments related to Sudan with mixed results, often facing opposition from executives who say their firms already comply with international law... In November,...attorneys for Franklin...argued...that the proposal would micro manage the company's decisions and that Franklin has already adopted principles for responsible investing. [also refers to PetroChina, China National Petroleum Corp]

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Related companies: American Funds (part of Capital Group) Capital Group China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Franklin Templeton JPMorgan Chase PetroChina (part of China National Petroleum Corporation) T. Rowe Price TIAA-CREF