LONDON, June 1 With investment banks facing an uncertain future, one Nomura shareholder has come up with a novel suggestion to help to boost its share price: replace all office toilets with Japanese-style squat facilities.
"All toilets within the company's offices shall be Japanese-style toilets, thereby toughening the legs and loins and hunkering down on a daily basis, aiming at achieving four-digit stock prices," the shareholder said on the bank's website ahead of this month's annual meeting on June 27.
"The company can surely avoid failure if they straddle over a Japanese-style toilet every day and strengthen their lower body. If it cannot, it can only be accepted as a bad luck."
Under Japanese law, shareholders who have held at least 30,000 shares for six months or more can make their own proposals at annual meetings.
"When considering the proposals for the shareholders meeting, we take relevant action in accordance with the law," a Nomura spokeswoman said.
The bank's share price dropped below 1,000 yen ($12.75) late in 2008 and has not reached the four-digit mark since then.
The unnamed shareholder submitted 100 proposals to be voted on at the meeting, including changing the company's name to "Vegetable Holdings", though only 18 met the bank's requirements for them to be submitted to shareholders. The bank's board of directors opposed all 18.
Other suggestions include abolishing the practice of giving three banzai cheers at the annual meeting because too many shareholders having strong armpit odour.
The proposals aren't all as far-fetched, however. One of the more conventional suggestions was that any capital increase should be funded by rights issue rather than public stock offering, and that any decision on public stock offerings should be subject to a resolution at shareholder meetings to protect shareholder rights. ($1 = 78.4150 Japanese yen)
(Editing by David Goodman)