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THE KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, INCORPORATED

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REFILE-MUFG board beats back climate resolution as activists falter in Japan

06/29/2021 | 12:05am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A branch of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group's bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Tokyo

TOKYO, June 29 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shareholders on Tuesday defeated a proposal for the bank to align its business with global targets on climate change, dealing a win for the board over investors pushing for more action on the environment.

Activist investors in Europe and the United States trying to halt climate change have successfully compelled companies to divest their fossil fuel holdings but the tactic has failed in Japan so far. This is the fourth time since 2020 a so-called shareholder climate resolution has been defeated after being brought before a Japanese listed company.

Japanese boards have benefited from the backing of domestic institutional investors that tend to defer to management.

Mitsubishi UFJ is Japan's biggest lender and backs numerous coal and fossil fuel projects.

A Mitsubishi UFJ spokesperson confirmed via email that the resolution failed during its annual general meeting, garnering about 23% of the shareholder vote.

Mitsubishi UFJ's board opposed the resolution saying the "essential content" of the proposal "has already been incorporated into the company's management strategies," with a recent carbon neutrality pledge and other policy changes.

Non-governmental organizations Kiko Network and Rainforest Action Network offered the resolution, supported by a number of shareholders, including EOS at Federated Hermes, which focuses on sustainable investing.

"While we welcome the recent updates to the company's policies and the net zero commitment for 2050, we do not believe these are sufficiently aligned to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius," Sachi Suzuki, associated director for engagement at EOS at Federated Hermes, said in an email.

The 2015 Paris Agreement requires countries to curb carbon emissions enough to keep average temperature rises to within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of pre-industrial levels to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Mizuho Financial Group was the first Japanese listed company to face a climate resolution, with shareholders last year voting it down. In the last two weeks, Sumitomo and Kansai Electric Power have fended off similar resolutions.

(Reporting by Takashi Umekawa and Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EOS (EOS/ETH) 2.79% 0.001584 Real-time Quote.-56.16%
EOS (EOS/USD) 3.57% 5.4303 Real-time Quote.103.04%
FEDERATED HERMES, INC. 0.36% 30.96 Delayed Quote.7.17%
MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. 1.28% 642.1 End-of-day quote.40.78%
MIZUHO FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. 0.77% 1626 End-of-day quote.24.36%
SUMITOMO CORPORATION -0.06% 1629 End-of-day quote.19.30%
THE KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, INCORPORATED 1.95% 1152 End-of-day quote.18.31%
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Analyst Recommendations on THE KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, INCORPORATED
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Financials
Sales 2022 2 603 B 23 660 M 23 660 M
Net income 2022 81 614 M 742 M 742 M
Net Debt 2022 4 438 B 40 341 M 40 341 M
P/E ratio 2022 12,6x
Yield 2022 4,34%
Capitalization 1 029 B 9 363 M 9 352 M
EV / Sales 2022 2,10x
EV / Sales 2023 2,18x
Nbr of Employees 31 933
Free-Float 78,7%
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Number of Analysts 7
Last Close Price 1 152,00 JPY
Average target price 1 165,71 JPY
Spread / Average Target 1,19%
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Managers and Directors
Shigeki Iwane President & Representative Director
Sadayuki Sakakibara Chairman
Noriyuki Inoue Independent Outside Director
Takamune Okihara Independent Outside Director
Tetsuya Kobayashi Independent Outside Director
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