A renowned Chinese food maker’s proposal to pay shareholders a dividend in the form of its own products – seame powder – has stirred great public curiosity online

Proposed dividend payment in sesame powder ridiculed

Updated: 2013-04-11 14:45

( Xinhua)

BEIJING – A renowned Chinese food maker’s proposal to pay shareholders a dividend in the form of its own products has stirred great public curiosity online. Nanfang Black Sesame Group Co Ltd, known for its cereal-like sesame powder, decided to provide 12 cans of the stuff as a dividend for every 1,000 shares registered before Thursday.The company announced this peculiar decision on its website on Monday, and it will mark thefirst time a dividend related to A Shares of Shanghai Stock Exchange has been paid in a formother than cash.

As the biggest shareholder aside from Nanfang itself, China Asset Management Company(ChinaAMC) will receive a total 61,656 cans.

And it is proposed that the biggest private shareholder, Lin Yier, will get 25,548 cans, enoughto allow this dubiously lucky investor to eat a can for every meal each day for the next 23 years.

According to Nanfang, none of its biggest shareholders have showed up to apply for thesesame powder, and there will be a final vote on the proposal at a stockholders meeting onApril 19.

The announcement inspired much online discussion, with more jokes than praise.

“This is like spending almost 13,000 yuan ($2,077) and getting a gift worth 200 yuan,” amicroblogger with the screen name “Jiuhengxing” wrote on Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-likemicroblogging platform.

The company’s stocks rose from 10.63 yuan on Monday to 12.97 yuan on Wednesday pershare, just before the registration deadline.

Microblogger “Xiangyue” teasingly asked ChinaAMC to “share the cans with its investors, justlike Nanfang did, for it is impossible for AMC to eat all the powder itself.”

“Renjiansiyuetian” calculated the transportation cost of this “heavy” dividend and concluded itwas impractical to distribute.

Microblogger “Sean Wugaosong” continued the tongue-in-cheek tone by suggesting investorsopt instead for automobile, real estate and aerospace shares, which may pay dividends in cars,houses and even rockets in future.

Investors in Moutai, China’s most famous and valuable liquor brand, also proposed online thatdividends from Moutai turn from cash to liquor.

Nanfang bemoaned that “its well-intentioned deed had resulted in sarcasm.”

It did have some supporters. “Feiji Jeaty” said, “This paying method will not deny people theirrights, and purely offers a bonus with tax.”

Microblogger “Zhongxianyuanze”, however, regarded the announcement as a “smart”champaign to reward investors, reduce inventories and promote its products at low cost.

Analysts said paying a dividend in products should not be promoted in current context in whichChinese listed companies have not widely established awareness of how they reward investors.Such a deed will further disappoint investors and harm the market, they warned.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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