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Santos shareholders re-elect Keith Spence as chair

11th April 2024

By: Reuters

  

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Australia's Santos re-elected Keith Spence as its chair after a majority of shareholders voted in his favour despite unrest over the oil company's inadequate response to climate woes, results of the annual general meeting showed on Thursday.

Nearly 94% of shareholders voted for a resolution to re-elect Spencer, who was appointed as Santos' chair in 2018.

"Votes for director re-elections at Santos were among the lowest 10-15 per cent of comparable results at ASX 50 companies over the last five years, but the vast majority of big investors are failing to ensure genuine climate risk management," Market Forces said in a statement.

The activist investor group had urged investors to vote against Spencer's re-election, citing the company's "inadequate response to climate concerns and its misguided oil and gas growth plans."

Shareholder group Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) had also filed a members’ statement against Spencer's re-election, accusing him of failure in maximising "shareholder value."

"While investor support for Keith Spence was resilient today, there is a limit to investor patience," ACCR said in a statement.

"If Santos does not resolve its strategic failings and share price performance over the coming 12 months, shareholders may not be so forgiving at the 2025 AGM."

Edited by Reuters

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