Bumi board continues to ignore concerns about coal impacts in Indonesia
Shareholders from Down to Earth, London Mining Network and War on Want attended Bumi plc’s meeting in London yesterday to question the company about the devastating impacts of its coal-mining operations in Kalimantan. The current Bumi board, facing a revolt by shareholders led by Nat Rothschild, failed again to adequately respond to concerns raised about the real impacts of the company’s coal mining operations in Indonesia.
See http://www.downtoearth-indonesia.org/story/bumi-board-continues-ignore-concerns-about-coal-impacts-indonesia.
Rothschild defeated in Bumi showdown
Rothschild, who says his only aim is to improve Bumi’s dismal share performance, called the board’s victory “pyrrhic”, pointing to the fact a substantial proportion of their support came from the company’s heavyweight Indonesian shareholders, including the Bakries. Many investors suggest the coal venture has bruised London’s reputation as well as that of Indonesia. While the London market has long seen successes and failures, Bumi has highlighted corporate governance failures elsewhere in the sector, and it contributed to regulators’ decision to tighten listing rules.
See http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/21/bumi-vote-idUSL1N0BL2JX20130221.
Rights campaigners target mining giant
Human rights and green campaigners challenged mining firm Bumi outside its AGM in London today over alleged rights abuses, corruption and environmental destruction. While shareholders squabbled and voted on plans by director Nat Rothschild to oust the current board, War on Want said the real losers of the outcome were Indonesians. London Mining Network co-ordinator Richard Solly urged: “Investors concerned about Bumi’s share price and the dodgy dealing would do well to show similar interest in the way the company deals with human rights and environmental issues. “It is not only investors who are suffering from the company’s cavalier behaviour. It is workers, communities and ecosystems.” Down to Earth campaigner Andrew Hickman said the Bumi affair had “revealed the bankruptcy of claims by large shareholders to be able to police their own activities.”
See http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/129736.
Bumi blasted over human rights abuse allegations
Allegations of human rights abuses will add another ugly chapter to the Bumi saga, as investors prepare to vote on Nat Rothschild’s plan to oust the board. Anti-poverty group War on Want attacked Bumi’s ethical record ahead of today’s emergency meeting, accusing the company of being of ‘virtually no benefit to the Indonesian economy’. It blamed the company for ‘human rights violations, abuse of workers [and] environmental destruction’.
See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-2282094/Bumi-blasted-human-rights-abuse-allegations.html.
James Ashton: The City’s most valuable asset is its reputation
Being open to international business does not mean the Square Mile should have to sacrifice its standards In the case of Bumi, Rothschild admits he didn’t do enough homework on his new partners. Nor it appears did the luminaries that fill its boardroom such as former British diplomat Lord Renwick and Sir Julian Horn-Smith, the Vodafone veteran who helped to turn the mobile phone company into a global player. Their judgement has been brought into question just as Sir Richard Sykes found himself dragged into a row over a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo when he sat on the board of Kazakhstan’s Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation. Regulators have been slow to grasp the situation. Only latterly did the Financial Services Authority propose greater protection for investors in companies that are dominated by a single large shareholder and promise to look at tightening governance. Yet after all the shouting and legal wrangling is over, the main players can retreat to Jakarta or Paris or pick up their fishing rods again. It is London that will pay the price in the long term if its kite-mark for quality and trust is tarnished.
See http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/james-ashton-the-citys-most-valuable-asset–is-its-reputation-8505139.html.
Bumi plc meets in London to sort out ownership feud
Whoever is in charge needs to be accountable for impacts on communities in Kalimantan, say CSOs.
Patrick Kane from War on Want, said: “Whatever the outcome of this pantomime in a London ballroom, the losers will be the Indonesian people who have reaped only negative consequences from Bumi’s coal extraction: human rights violations, abuse of workers, environmental destruction.”.
Richard Solly, Co-ordinator of London Mining Network, said: “Investors concerned about Bumi’s share price, and the dodgy dealing, would do well to show similar interest in the way the company deals with human rights and environmental issues. It’s not only investors who are suffering from the company’s cavalier behaviour: it’s workers, communities and ecosystems. But when London Mining Network and friends raised these issues at last year’s AGM, we were accused of ‘ranting’. Will investors start listening now?”
Andrew Hickman from Down to Earth, said: “Regardless of who wins Bumi’s boardroom battle, one thing appears clear, the Bumi affair has revealed the bankrupcy of claims by large shareholders to be able to police their own activities.  In 2012, the government rejected a proposed amendment to the Financial Services bill to strengthen regulation of mining companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.  Surely, it is now time for the government to act? To do this, at very least, for the sake of people’s lives and livelihoods in countries like Indonesia.”
See http://www.downtoearth-indonesia.org/story/bumi-plc-meets-today-london-sort-out-ownership-feud.
The Bumi debacle: A timeline