Amcor, Tabcorp and market chaos

February 2, 2010

Dear Mayne Reporters,

Talk about bedlam. The markets are crashing at the very peak of the AGM season.

After all the drama at Asciano and AWB yesterday, this morning saw some very illuminating exchanges at Tabcorp and Amcor and we're just now dashing off now to the Reece Australia AGM to meet the Wilsons - Australia's least known billionaires.

Sitting here watching Question Time is quite depressing. The dollar is tanking after Argentina pledged pensions funds to bail out its economy, and our pollies are indulging in all this "he said, she said" garbage.

The debate should be over debt management for a highly leveraged economy. The government should not be splurging $10 billion on welfare but instead pumping capital into the Reserve Bank, the Future Fund, which in turn should be recapitalising our banking system to step up and replace all that fleeing foreign debt and equity.

For instance, what on earth is the Singapore Government doing bailing out Australia's most prestigious owner of office towers, GPT?

Where is the Future Fund? Where are the big Australian super funds?

Where is the debate about our $620 billion foreign debt and that $60 billion current account deficit. The big issue that is coming up at AGM after AGM is debt management and there are just too many households and corporates carrying too much of it.

Tabcorp AGM

It was really good to get Tabcorp on the record this morning about responsible gaming practices, along with some insights into those recent bribery claims.

The audio was very interesting, have a listen:

1. Political environment, banning children and responsible gaming practices

2. Amcor gag, bribery claims and John Brumby's sovereign risk

3. Paul Bendat's question on directors visiting dodgy Woolies/Mathieson pokies venues

Amcor AGM

There was some terrific exchanges at the Amcor AGM and it ended up being quite a love-in with the chairman hailing the great questions from quite a number of shareholders and the shareholders applauding the board for a good presentation, whilst also voting more than 90% of shares in favour of all resolutions, including incentive schemes for CEO Ken McKenzie and a pay rise for the board.

Unfortunately, the webcast stopped after the formal addresses so we've emailed the provider to have it made available.

There'll be more later but that's all for now.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

* The Mayne Report is a multi-media governance website published by Stephen Mayne with occasional email editions. To unsubscribe from the emails click here.