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Vector withdraws plan to raise director fees amid slump

Thursday 16th October 2008

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Vector, New Zealand's largest electricity distributor, withdrew a proposal to raise directors' fees, saying an increase isn't appropriate amid the economic downturn.

Shareholders were to vote on the increase at the company's annual meeting on Oct. 23. Chairman Michael Stiassny was to have received a NZ$40,000 increase to NZ$220,000 a year, while non-executive directors would get a NZ$20,000 increase to NZ$110,000.

"Given the local and global economic conditions, the directors no longer believe asking shareholders to approve fee increases is appropriate," Stiassny said in a statement.

Vector's directors' fees haven't increased since the company's initial public offering and listing in 2005. Annual net income fell to NZ$164 million from NZ$233 million, the company reported in August, mainly reflecting tax adjustments in the previous year under IFRS. Sales rose 1.7% to NZ$1.3 billion.

The shares fell 1.4% to NZ$4.05 today and have fallen 7% in the past month, almost half the NZX 50 index's decline.

By Jonathan Underhill

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