don't donate to tsunami appeal - shareholders ass.

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    ABC Online
    The Australian Shareholders Association has expressed disapproval at companies pledging money to the tsunami relief effort in Asia, saying they have no approval for their philanthropy.

    Association spokesman Stephen Matthews says firms should not generally give without expecting something in return.

    Mr Matthews says that in most circumstances, donations should only be made in situations that are likely to benefit the company through greater market exposure.

    He says corporate donations of any kind should not be made without the prior approval of shareholders.

    "Boards of directors don't have a mandate from their shareholders to spend the money in that way," Mr Matthews said.

    "They have no way of possibly knowing whether or not their shareholders want their money, the shareholders' money, spent in this way.

    "It's an attempt to shift the cost to a particular sector of the community, that is the shareholders."

    Mr Matthews says an exception would be those companies which could benefit from making donations.

    "There is a role for business to make a contribution in relation to the tsunami, particularly those businesses who have activities up in south Asia and companies like Bluescope Steel come to mind," he said.

    "Where their businesses are dependent on those sorts of markets, there could possibly be a benefit for shareholders in them making donations to relief."


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