ANA, MUFG taken to task at shareholder meets

Kyodo

Shareholders’ meetings peaked Thursday as investors focused on strategic decisions to take advantage of the surge in confidence being credited to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive economic ploys.

A total of 718 companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange held their annual meetings Thursday, accounting for 42 percent of TSE-listed firms that close their books in March, the bourse said.

At the meeting for ANA Holdings Inc., President Shinichiro Ito explained why it was announced earlier this week that the airline’s partnership with Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd will end.

As shareholders complained about the drop in ANA’s share price caused by last year’s massive public share offering, Ito tried to mollify the crowd with promises.

“We will make utmost efforts to achieve earnings to reverse the impact,” Ito said.

At Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.’s meeting, as many as 6,000 shareholders showed up to hear why the mega-bank announced a plan to acquire a major Thai bank for about ¥400 billion after agreeing to cough up a ¥24.5 billion penalty to New York state over its illicit dealings with Iran.

At the meeting for Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., meanwhile, President Yasuhiko Kato apologized for the embarrassing infighting that helped scupper the firm’s merger with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.

One of its shareholders questioned whether the firm was planning on mergering with other companies.