Executive pay, AWB and NAB tilts, Manningham, elections in 2010, cracking Cornwall, Woolies faltering, capital raisings and much more

February 18, 2010

Dear Mayne Reporters,

apologies this is our first missive since the December 10 edition after the Channel Ten tilt but there's been a lot going on over the past month.

We've opened 2010 today with this hard hitting contribution to the ABC's new analysis site The Drum on the Productivity Commission final report into executive pay.

Overall, I'm a strong supporter of the 17 recommendations because of the impact the full package will have on Australian corporate governance more generally, rather than just the specifics around executive pay regulation.

Anyway, it's all laid in almost 1000 words for The Drum so check it out.

Extra director payments under scrutiny at AWB AGM

The AWB AGM on December 23 was a very feisty affair and we've packaged up all our contributions into the following audio files:

Why wasn't your one-for-one offer renounceable? How did you market the offer?

Have you considered a follow up SPP for retail shareholders? How did you go from paying dividends to a debt crisis? Tell us how the $200 million disappeared in Brazil.

Can we hear from the candidate about the debacle in Brazil?

Campaign speech and shareholder questions

General spray against remuneration practices

Can you give us some insight to the timing of when the ex gratia payments were made?

Given the lack of news around, the board ended up generating a truck load of negative publicity for themselves by holding the AGM on December 23 as you can see from this package.

The same group of hard core farmer supporters of the single desk were out in force at the AGM and this time we were on the same side in blasting the board, although none of my commentary blamed the directors for Labor's decision to introduce competition into Australia's wheat marketing system.

The most interesting news coming out of the AGM surrounded the $465,000 in ex gratia payments to the three retiring A class directors who supported constitutional change which ended the farmer board gerrymander at the EGMs held in 2008, including former chairman Brendan Stewart.

Given the other farmer directors who opposed reform all resigned with no additional payments, this was an issue worth of lengthy debate at the AGM and I was happy to provide it. Have a listen here.

When former director Colin Nicholl got up and queried the payments, we knew this was an interesting story and we then got this front page story in The Weekly Times after another former director, Xavier Martin, claimed that senior managers had suggested it would be worth his while financially to switch positions and support constitutional change.

It is very rare to see directors given retirement payments over and above their statutory entitlements and it looks particularly odious given AWB's parlous financial performance since the farmers directors were all booted out.

All directors should be treated equally and usually extra unpaid labour around key transactions just comes with the territory. The only example I can think of was the additional $US100,000 that Rupert Murdoch agreed to pay all non-executive directors after they backed his 2004 push to relocate News Corp from Australia to Delaware. However, this treated all directors equally but it could still be argued that directors were given an additional financial incentive to back a controversial transaction.

Better support for AWB board tilt but still in single digits

The AWB voting result was the best for a while but still a fairly miserable 8% in favour. However, that's a lot better than 0.9% at Ten Network Holdings two weeks earlier.

You can see a full package on the AWB tilt here.

At the end of the day, you've got no chance of success unless one of the major proxy advisory houses recommends in favour. I've never even had the Australian Shareholders' Association support any of the 40 tilts. Calendar year 2009 was certainly my least successful in terms of the following voting results:

Oz Minerals: 7%
Fairfax Media: 2.9%
Ten Network Holdings: 0.9%
National Australia Bank: 5.6%
AWB: 8%

All these single digit results have dragged the overall average down from 15% at the start of the year to about 13%. However, I still regard the exercises as thoroughly worthwhile in pressuring boards on specific issues.

The three December tilts against Ten, NAB and AWB certainly sent a broader message to the market that any blatant discrimination against retail investors in capital raisings will general a hostile board nomination and plenty of lively debate at the AGM.

On the question of future tilts, there is nothing specific identified at this point and 40 losses is such a nice round number that at one level now would be a good time to retire from the hostile tilt field if an appropriate opportunity to actually join a board came up.

The ASX board is the most obvious and this was conveyed to chairman David Gonski at a meeting last year but we'll just have to see how that long term plan unfolds.

2010 a big year for politics

The other reason that shareholder activism will have a slightly reduced focus in 2010 is the federal and Victorian state elections that will take place before the year is out.

As a professional candidate, a Senate tilt is appealing partly because it is the only remaining major election I've never contested.

A psephologist friend has taken a look at the numbers and concluded the obvious - that success for an independent candidate in a half-senate election would require a herculian effort.

You would need to spend upwards of $100,000, campaign for at least three months and also get favourable preference flows - all of which would be just too hard.

However, the attraction of a senate pitch would be to try and elevate the two key issues of pokies and corporate governance into a federal campaign and then direct preferences to try and influence which parties win the fifth and sixth spot in Victoria.

Based on the 2007 results, the Greens, Liberal and Labor would be in a tight three way contest for the last two spots, although you would have to think the Green primary vote would rise given the huge focus on climate change as an issue. The Greens have also preselected the impressive Dr Richard Di Natale who has gone close on several occasions and would be a very effective player in Canberra. We're having a hit of golf with a mutual friend next month so it will be interesting to see how the conversation proceeds.

A double dissolution election with all 12 Victorian senate spots up for grabs would be much more do-able although I very much doubt Kevin Rudd will risk it.

The Victorian election is already locked in for late November and that presents two interesting opportunities - campaigning against gaming minister Tony Robinson in the marginal seat of Mitcham or having a serious crack at the upper house region of Eastern Metropolitan, about 25% of which comprises the territory covered by Manningham.

Knocking off the gaming minister would be the best way to strike a blow for pokies reform in Victoria and given Robinson's margin is only 1.2% that would be achievable if the Liberal Party preselected a decent candidate and threw some resources into the campaign.

However, based on the voting results in Eastern Metropolitan last time, an independent with around 5% of the primary vote could knock off the Green or the third Liberal for the fifth spot if the preferences flowed favourably.

While these election opportunities are interesting, no final decisions will be taken until much closer to the time because who knows what will unfold throughout the year. Getting elected to Manningham City Council at the end of 2008 certainly changed the focus in 2009 and if the 5-4 mayoral vote had gone the other way, that would have been a full-time commitment with no time for Federal or state election pitches in 2010.

Council is a big commitment and we'll have to see how the work schedule develops in 2010 as to whether there is time for much extra political activity.

From journalist to mayor to journalist

How things have changed over 18 months. Back in 2008 when AWB was trying to push through constitutional reform to remove its farmer gerrymander, I was a vocal supporter and journalist Peter Hemphill from The Weekly Times was leading the charge against sacking the grain growers.

I turned up at the Victorian Local Governance Association's "Maximising the Mayoralty" weekend in January 2009 to give a talk about Woolworths and the pokies and, lo and behold, there was Peter Hemphill as the mayor of Hobsons Bay, which takes in some of Melbourne's inner western bayside suburbs such as Williamstown.

We had a chuckle about our past disagreements and then didn't catch up again until mid-December when I was writing about losing the Manningham mayoral vote 5-4 and he had finished his 12 month term and was back writing for The Weekly Times.

As you can see from the story below, this time we're all singing from the same songsheet as I was very disappointed with how the new corporate AWB board treated its retail shareholders in last year's capital raising and went from supporting the board to running a hostile campaign against them which included throwing barbs about the cynically timed AGM on December 23.

The question of AGM timing should be fixed this year but AWB chairman Peter Polson appears only interested in going a week or two earlier, rather than reverting to the old February time frame which better suits growers who are flat out bringing in the harvest just before Christmas.

Disappointed in lack of protest against NAB chairman

The NAB AGM in Brisbane on December 17 was well worth attending even if the 5% support in the board tilt was still on the light side and chairman Michael Chaney received no meaningful opposition at all despite continuing to defend one of the worst cases of retail shareholders being shafted in a capital raising.

After checking the latest news wires at Brisbane Airport at 8.30am that morning, I headed into the Brisbane Convention Centre and arrived 5 minutes into the informal discussion involving journalists Peter Thompson and Ross Greenwood interviewing Chaney and NAB CEO Cameron Clyne.

Suddenly there was some reference to a possible $1.5 billion capital raising and buying Axa and it became apparent NAB had indeed pulled a big news story out of the hat on the morning of the AGM when the chairman was up for election and expecting quite a lashing.

Spending $4.6 billion buying Axa's Australasian business was no small beer and in these circumstances it is good to find out the immediate share price reaction and inform the meeting. As it turned out, NAB's shares were inexplicably suspended until just after 3pm so the $1.35 slump to $26.60 that day wasn't able to be relayed to the meeting.

NAB shares finished tonight below the December 16 close whereas the other big three banks have joined in the festive season rally. As was mentioned during this chat yesterday with Steve Chase on ABC News Radio about NAB potentially buying Northern Rock, NAB this week briefly slipped to number four in the market capitalisation rankings after ANZ crept ahead.

All this poor relative performance partly relates to NAB's exposure to the struggling UK banking market but it is hard to believe the NAB would agree to shell out billions for Northern Rock in the UK when it is trying to bed down the $4.6 billion Axa acquisition.

Journalist session well worth exploring

The 50-minute session with journalists Peter Thompson and Ross Greenwood before the NAB AGM was bagged in some sections of the press but as this story for Crikey on December 18 explained, I thought it worked well because they covered pretty much all of the controversial territory.

And the key difference with the soft Robert Gottliebsen interview with BHP top bananas Marius Kloppers and Don Argus in 2008 was that the NAB interview was live and unscripted, not an edited DVD mailed to all shareholders before the meeting.

I told NAB CEO Cameron Clyne and several other directors that the format worked really well and it was interesting that about 300 shareholders turned up for the 9.30am journalism session and there would only have been 400 tops in the house for the start of the AGM.

The other interesting format change was that everyone was fed between 10.30am and 11am, but there was no food supplied when the AGM finished just after 1pm. This was an oversight. Whilst the journo session no doubt covered some parts of the questions than may have come from the floor, you can't just assume the AGM will only take an hour and shareholders won't get hungry and thirsty.

As it happened, the formal addresses at the AGM barely lasted 10 minutes and then we were straight into questions on the accounts at 11.10am.

Single digits at NAB, but better than Fairfax and Ten

In the end, the vote in favour from NAB shareholders was only 5.6% on the proxies and closer to 5% in the poll, but it was well worth the effort travelling to Brisbane for the debate.

The Courier Mail's James McCullough claimed in his City Beat column that I had more air time than the chairman.

A usual, most of the major papers did not report the result of NAB's second ever contested election, although it was good to see the issue of retail shareholder rip-offs was picked up in articles such as this AAP story run on the Fairfax websites.

The biggest disappointment at the NAB AGM was chairman Michael Chaney only scoring a protest vote of 12 million shares or about 1.3%.

The Australian Shareholders' Association should hang their head in shame for voting their 11 million undirected proxies in favour after NAB scaled back the applications from retail investors in its share purchase plan last August by $1.85 billion to just $750 million.

Finally, check ouf these edited videos of our contributions at the NAB meeting as they are a great example of how major public companies should webcast.

Harry Boon's gaming equivalent of greenwash

An ethical investment professional has pointed us to this line from Tatts chairman Harry Boon in the latest annual report as something that the great folk at Futerra in London who produce the ‘Greenwash guide' would have a chuckle about:

To perform so strongly in a continually challenging environment is testimony to the dedication of management and employees within this business and the willingness of players to voluntarily commit part of their disposable income to playing the gaming machines which largely fund the entertainment provided by neighbourhood hotels and clubs, as well as a host of related sporting and social activities.

Gee, whoever would have thought that contributing to local community sponsorship was the driver for most pokie players. Truth be known, many players are addicts who are ruthlessly targeted and exploited by venue operators such as Woolworths or gaming machine providers such as Tatts.

Dodgy Macquarie Equinox funds?

An aggrieved Macquarie client writes:

Hi Stephen,

I know you have written about the Macquarie managed funds of which I have units in Macquarie Equinox Asia. As you know the funds were frozen 12 months ago with little or no updates since. I complained that we were being treated poorly with no communication, we didn't even know if the funds were a going concern or could meet their liabilities when they fell due. They stuffed around for months with my complaint with a weak response that rehashed the web site information update which is usually 6 months old. I then put a series of questions to them and now they have made a partial offer for liquidity but at a price. If redeemed any units left are ranked lower in a separate class of the fund as opposed as the clients who do nothing remain with A class units. My question is how can they do this without consulting the members and how do we know if this is the best course of action for us. If you funded with a Macquarie loan then you have the break costs and a partial reduction required for "potential future profits" to the loan of about 12% before you can take up the "offer", not sure how they work that out?

How can I find out if their plan is legal, my point is that Macquarie and the Responsible Entity are tied through the bank lending me the funds to buy the units, and accepting commissions I assume. I am locked into a loan term of 10+ years but the fund is illiquid and the bank wants break costs for me to pay down or discharge the loan. I see that Macquarie is linked to this whole sorry saga and should be made to comment on why this "offer" is so heavily slanted to Macquarie's position at the expense of the individual.

I've complained again but it takes them 3+ months to respond.

What happens with all these frozen funds in 2010 will be an interesting story to watch and we'll see if Macquarie is prepared to respond to this complaint, especially in light of the Storm financial collapse and that fiery parliamentary inquiry led by Bernie Ripoll.

Women on boards and classic Cornwall

The final Crikey contribution for 2009 attacked the pathetic 8% of major public company directors who are women and focused on the NAB chairman's claims that he couldn't find a woman to satisfy the board's requirements.

Our resident cartoonist Mark Cornwall also had the women's lobby on his mind with this toon:

All the action from Ten Network AGM

The edition we sent out straight after the Channel Ten AGM in December didn't have all the audio so we've broken it up for your enjoyment below.

When will Ten get with the program and webcast its AGM?

Small shareholder opens the batting on SPP shafting

Going in hard on the SPP shafting

Exchange about Bruce Gordon board seat including the billionaire's speech

Is programming boss David Mott too indecisive?

Have you missed the boat with your digital strategy?

Is it really a 100% separation from CanWest?

Engaging with Hungry Jack Cowin on shareholding history and SPP shafting

Using "pipe and slippers" line against silent 80-year-old incumbent John Studdy

Fired up campaign speech on SPP shafting and appalling election process

Answer to shareholder question with Manningham rave

There was also this story in Crikey the day after the Ten AGM, which was the most lively since the company floated back in 1998.

ANZ AGM and authoritarian Singapore

I arrived three hours into the ANZ AGM in Melbourne on December 18 but we still managed to ask questions and listen to the speech from external board candidate Robert Reeves. Here is all the edited audio:

No vacancy rule, Sir Rod, Sydney chairman and Opes
Robert Reeves campaign speech

No vacancy rule and outside candidate Robert Reeves
Sticking it to Lee Kuan Yew's son over authoritarian Singapore

The favourite exchange was definitely giving Lee Kuan Yew's son a spray about authoritarian Singapore as was explained in this Crikey story on December 22.

This article below from the Herald Sun's Confidential gossip column on December 22 is basically a partial transcript of the question but no media outlet has yet picked up on the move by the wife of ANZ chairman Charles Goode who hissed that I was "f*cking rude to Mr Lee" in an exchange as she left the meeting.

Teasing the Westpac spinners and then not turning up

Whenever a spindoctor makes a contact before an AGM to ask if I'm coming, the tactic is usually to answer "yes" regardless. However, I was genuinely intending to pop into Westpac's gathering in Melbourne last month when this exchange took place:

From: Andrew from Westpac
Sent: Tuesday, 15 December 2009
To: stephen@maynereport.com
Subject: Westpac AGM

Hi Stephen,

I suspect you are as busy as ever and perhaps preparing for the NAB AGM later this week. You probably know that the Westpac AGM is scheduled for tomorrow and I was wondering if you were planning to attend and/or had any questions you wanted to ask. I am around for much of today if there is anything you would like to discuss, or I could give you a call if there is a time that would suit you.

Regards, Andrew

From: Stephen
Sent: Tuesday, 15 December 2009
To: 'Andrew'
Subject: RE: Westpac AGM

Hi Andrew, nice to hear from you. I'm looking forward to attending the Westpac AGM tomorrow but would rather not foreshadow any issues before hand.

The best debates are usually the unscripted ones and it is good to see how a board performs at the one public outing of the year.

Regards, Stephen Mayne

Unfortunately, it was stinking hot the next day and I ended up dropping into the Christmas lunch for the 100 volunteers who help out at Manningham's nursing home and integrated aged care services operation. A quick check on the webcast after that and it was all too late. As it happened, the Westpac board got off incredibly lightly for all the brand damage they've inflicted on themselves recently, but I still pontificated about all their problems during this interview on Sydney's 2GB later in the afternoon.

Bendigo Community Bank - Templestowe branch opening

The 248th branch opening of this highly successful community initiative happened in my home patch on Monday, December 14. Check out this excellent video of the proceedings including a very good speech by local girl and basketball legend Michelle Timms.

Donate to help keep this free service

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Thanks to everyone who have chipped in a collective $4000 worth of donations over the past four months and you can check out their details on this honour board.

Thanks to John for $100 on December 6, Kath for $50 on December 10 and Charlotte for $50 on December 8.

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Mayoral vote, pokies motion and more Manningham audio

The 5-4 defeat in the mayoral election on December 7 was explained in this Crikey story and you can listen to the audio of each councillor discussing the return of Labor mayor Charles Pick for a second term. Some of them were pretty interesting:

Mayor Charles Pick
Deputy Mayor Fred Chuah JP
Councillor Geoff Gough
Councillor Grace La Vella
Councillor Stephen Mayne
Councillor Ivan Reid
Councillor Meg Downie
Councillor David Ellis
Councillor Graeme MacMillan

The Greens councillor David Ellis broke somewhat with convention in criticising the factionalism and number counting of mayor Pick and I also broke with convention in revealing the 5-4 ballot the night before and thanking the four for their support.

All of this generated the splash in our local paper, The Manningham Leader.

Meanwhile, Manningham City Council held the final full public council meeting on Tuesday, December 15. Check out the agenda and minutes. Below are links to edited audio of our contributions to the public debate along with all the audio available in the controversial items related to a new nursing home proposal in Park Orchards and the heavy debate over our own nursing home run by the Manningham Centre Association, of which I've been a director for three months.

Supporting sub-division of St Kevins site
Crs Gough and Mayne support officers on nursing home
Nursing home on Park Orchards chalet site full debate
Supporting special rates marketing program for Templestowe Village
Crs Reid and Mayne back civic precinct plan as Crs McMillan and Downie lash out
Full but brief debate on bushfire preparations
Full but brief debate on update on fire at civic offices
A big tax cut for community groups using council buildings
Manningham Centre debate – first bruising half hour before tape cut out
Failing to get support from other councillors for motion about Woolies targeting kids with pokies marketing
Questions from Woolies spinner John Curry on pokies

Woolies and the pokies in Manningham

It was disappointing that my motion calling on Woolies to stop marketing to children at their lucrative Manningham pokies venues was deferred by the ruling five without any prior warning. These issues were summarised in this Crikey story on December 16 and Labor councillor Ivan Reid has objected to the suggestion that he could in any way be characterised as a supporter of the pokies or their marketing to children.

Ultimately, this will be determined by Cr Reid's future words and voting but for now I remain disappointed that an apparent critic of the pokies could lead the political play in giving Woolies a win through the deferral of the motion until we consider our full gaming policy over the coming months.

Whilst it was reasonable to request that the motion apply to all Manningham pokies players rather than Woolies, I'd hoped the explanation that Manningham has the highest concentration of Woolies venues of any Victorian council and that Woolies are the biggest and least responsible player in the space would suffice.

Alas, it wasn't to be, but we'll no doubt have many more debates on these points in the coming months.

Cornwall on Chinese integrity after Copenhagen

The Mayne Report Rich List

Save for claiming Griffin Coal boss Ric Stowe was worth $720 million in 2009, BRW magazine generally does a great job with its various Australian Rich Lists but we've broadened their efforts to track any Australian who has ever been worth more than $10 million. We've got more than 1400 names with those who've fallen back below $10 million now italicised. We even had the first example this week of someone dobbing themselves in, although we haven't included them in the new names which are listed below:

John Holaday: managing director and CEO of Sydney-based QRX Pharmaceutical, owns 7.5 million shares which push his combined wealth toward $10 million.

Robin Levison: managing director and CEO of Queensland-based mining products and services group Industrea, has a shareholding of around 14.8 million which alone puts his wealth close to $10 million.

Dale Mcnamara: former managing director of Wadam Industries, and now special advisor to the CEO of Industrea, since Industrea acquired Wadam Industries, has a shareholding of around 15.6 million which pushes his wealth to around the $10 million mark.

Michael Quinn: non-executive director of Sydney-based QRX Pharmaceutical, owns 9.4 million shares which alone push his wealth close to $10 million.

Trevor St Baker:
non-executive chairman of Queensland-based ERM Power, of which his family owns 85%, the largest privately owned integrated energy company in Australia which has been mentioned as a potential buyer of the NSW energy assets up for sale.

Wesfarmers market cap challenging Woolies

I may have missed it in the media, but the past few weeks has seen a major re-alignment in Australian retailing when the market capitalisation of Wesfarmers briefly got past bitter rival Woolworths for the first time in many years.

The situation has reversed again this week with Woolies back up to $34.6 billion and Wesfarmers down to $31.8 billion but it is clear Wesfarmers is starting to get its act together on the retailing front and the market is rewarding its largely imported management team.

Similarly, Woolies shares took a hit with its apparent over-reach into hardware retailing announced a few months back.

Whilst it was widely felt that Wesfarmers overpaid for Coles, the majority of the consideration was scrip and when you take into account the two Wesfarmers capitals raising over the past 22 months, the Coles acquisition starts to look pretty attractive.

This time last year, Wesfarmers shares were on the slide and bottomed below $15 amid concerns about its debt load and fears the end of the short selling ban on financial stocks would lead to further attacks by hedge funds.

After raising more than $4 billion at $13.50, those investors who supported the capital raising are enjoying huge profits.

This is especially the case for Colonial and Capital which were given the discounted $900 million special placement at just $14.25 a pop.

With Wesfarmers shares finishing at $31.20 tonight, these two institutions have made more than $1 billion clear.

There was absolutely no need for Wesfarmers to do any placement at all last year, so maybe the board should now consider a discounted share purchase plan for retail investors to compensate them for enormous dilution they've suffered at the hands of a board that clearly favours the big end of town when raising capital.

Cornwall cartoons for The Mayne Report

Former Fairfax and Crikey cartoonist Mark Cornwall has been contributing his satirical commentary to the Mayne Report since March 2009. Here is a collection of his best cartoons and there are now also some amusing animations. Check out some of his latest offerings throughout the edition:

The rather thin ASIC jail list for 2010

Is ASIC an effective corporate cop? You be the judge as this is the list of 346 people they have sent to jail since it was established in January 1991. There were only 19 incarcerations in 2008, and in 2009 we only already reached 12, one of the lowest figures in years. So much for justice being served swiftly against all those wrong-doers exposed by the global financial crisis. Below is the last addition for 2009 but even this one was fully suspended:

9 November 2009 - Mr Russell Collins-McBride, of Seaview Downs, Adelaide, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, fully suspended upon entering an agreement of good behaviour for three years. A former franchisee of Power Loan he pleaded guilty to carrying on a financial services business without an Australian financial services licence.

When combined with ASIC's recent failures in actions against Jodee Rich, AWB and Twiggy Forrest, the plod has not been having a good time of it lately.

Avexa ends a slow time on the capital raisings front

Whilst we've crystallised more than $100,000 in losses over the past two years, our luck turned in March 2009 playing the capital raisings in Australia and the gross profits have unfolded as follows on a monthly basis:

January: broke even
February: broke even
March: $10,170 profit
April: $36,996 profit
May: $31,639 profit
June: $86,600 profit
July: $28,293 profit
August: $12,758 profit
September: $32,229 profit
October: $8901 profit
November: $16,800 profit
December: $2200 loss

Gross paper profits for year: $262,186

January 2010: $1700 profit so far courtesy of Avexa on January 5.

There hasn't been much action on the capital raising front since the last edition but here is an update of the applications we've currently made, along with several that closed out with no material result:

December 8:
Moly Mines:
applied for $45,000 worth of shares through three $15,000 SPP entitlements at 80c. Scaled back by 48% to $23,400 and then exited for negligible profit.

December 9
Penrice Soda:
$14,000 into 1-for-2 entitlement offer at 70c with overs but scaled back to virtually nothing.

December 14
$10,000 into $15,000 SPP at 64c and exited at 67c for a gain of $450.

December 15
St Barbara Mines:
$15,000 into 3-for-14 entitlement offer at 27c and got the lot. Exited at 29c for gain of $1100.

Tissue Therapies: $15,000 into SPP at 11.84c. Scaled back and sold all 12,622 at 13.5c for gain of $210 but after losses on original purchase result is barely break even.

December 21
QRX Pharma:
$11,000 into 1-for-5 entitlement offer at 80c with overs. Exited at 76c to lose $550.

December 22
Ord River Resources:
$10,000 into 1-for-3 entitlement offer at 4.5c with overs. Exited at 4.5c to break ever.

December 24
KFM Diversified:
$20,000 into 1-for-6 entitlement offer at 70c with overs. Scaled back to tiny amount.

December 29
Clean Seas Tuna: $3000 into three $15,000 SPPs at 25c and exited at 26.5c for break even given higher entry price.

December result: lost $2200.

January 5
$15,000 into SPP at 14c which was scaled back to $12,000. Exited at 16c for gain of $1700.

January 7
Commonwealth Office:
$10,000 into SPP at 91c which closed December 22 and trades January 7.

Offers we're currently committed to

Contango Microcap:
$15,000 into SPP at 87c which closes January 22.
Over Fifty Group: $15,000 into SPP at 72c or 10% discount to VWAP. Closes January 18 and trades January 25.

Total live applications: $30,000

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All the recent share trades

Check out all the trades in 2009 and here's the December 21 snapshot of the world's biggest small portfolio. As for the trades since the last edition, they are as follows:

January 6
Clean Seas Tuna:
sold 1,962 at 29.5c

January 5
sold 86,000 at 15c

December 29
Clean Seas Tuna: sold 13,640 at 26.5c
Aspermont: sold 3,563 at 14c

December 23
Prana Biotechnology: sold 3,115 at 15c
Blue Energy: sold 2,490 at 20.5c
Austin exploration options: sold 4,150 at 1.6c
QRX Pharmaceutical: sold 13,750 at 76c
Ord River Resources: sold 222,000 at 4.5c

December 22
Austin exploration: sold 16,590 at 5.3c
Boom Logistics:
sold 1,307 at 40c
Navitas: sold 115 at $4.03
Wam Capital: sold 390 at $1.26

December 21
Gowing Bros: sold 190 at $2.46
KFM Diversified:
sold 589 at 85c
Preferred Capital Perls III: bought 28 at $177.10

December 15
Aspermont: bought 3,573 at 14c
St Barbara Mines: sold 55,800 at 29c

December 14

Amcil: sold 15,600 at 67c
Tissue Therapies: sold 12,622 at 13.5c

More Cornwall on Westpac and ETS

From the press room: Crikey, 2GB, 774, The Drum


Women directors not up to the job, says Chaney
Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Big bank AGMs and the cynical late December club
Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Manningham Diaries: Woolies spinner sparks pokies bunfight
Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Greens, DLP and women line up to skewer Moreland's blokey Labor faction
Monday, 14 December 2009

Channel Ten scores zero for AGM democracy
Friday, 11 December 2009


ABC News Radio - talking with Steve Chase about rumours of NAB buying Northern Rock on January 4.

774 ABC Melbourne - wrapping up the year with Libby Gore

774 ABC Melbourne - the year in review with Rodd Quinn.

- discussing the 2009 Westpac AGM.


ABC The Drum
White guys should jump
January 6, 2010

Click the link below to get the latest radio and AGM audio:

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We have only been twittering for a few months, but now have 990 followers and are regularly dropping out the latest developments from AGMs, capital raising plays and even Manningham Council. Sign up below to get the latest updates from all our activity and check out some of the latest tweets :

12.45pm Jan 6: Check out contribution for new ABC analysis site The Drum giving directors club a rocket over executive pay: http://www.abc.net.au/thedrum/

2.44pm Jan 5 Exited $12,000 Avexa share purchase plan with $1700 gain today in best play since $2500 profit on Capral way back on Nov 12. CPA tomorrow.

6.04pm Jan 4 Interview today with Steve Canane on ABC local radio about exec pay and Steve Chase on ABC Newsradio on report of NAB buying Northern Rock.

8.53pm Dec 23 Judged Christmas decorations at Manningham council then attended staff Christmas lunch. All great fun. Now getting ready to host tomorrow.

7.21pm Dec 23 Last chat for the year on the regular 774 ABC Melbourne spot wrapping up the year http://video.maynereport.com/audio/774_231209.mp3

5.21pm Dec 23 Got almost 10% of proxies in AWB board tilt and won easily from the floor before losing in poll. Lots of good debate and feral farmers.

10.38am Dec 23
Crikey story coming on scandalous lack of women on boards. Exited 10k Ord River play at break even but looking at $700 loss on QRX Pharma.

11.21pm Dec 21 On 774 ABC Melbourne with Rodd Quinn discussing the year in reviewhttp://video.maynereport.com/audio/774_211209.mp3

10.21am Dec 21 Listen to audio of spray against Lee Kuan Yew's son at ANZ AGM on Friday:http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2009/12/21-1156-3168.html

1.14pm Dec 20 Excellent fresh batch of toons from Cornwall on climate change. See gallery:http://www.maynereport.com/articles/2009/05/22-1323-4205.html

pm Dec 18 Gave Lee Kuan Yew's son a blast over Singapore oppression at ANZ AGM and Chairman's wife then abused me for being "f*cking rude to Mr Lee."

11.40pm Dec 17Watch all the lively NAB AGM debate action. Some of the best quality AGM video production we've seen:http://video.maynereport.com/nab.html

6.29pm Dec 17 Scored 5.6% in favour at NAB. Better than 2.9% at Fairfax and 0.9% at Ten. But chairman Chaney got 98.7% in favour. No SPP protest at all!

11.23am Dec 17 Landed in Brisbane for NAB AGM. Expecting 3-5% support in board tilt and aiming to get chairman Chaney below 90% for shafting retail in SPP.

6.23pm Dec 16 Discussed today's Westpac AGM on 2GB Sydney radio http://video.maynereport.com/audio/2GB_161209.mp3

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.