Friday, 28 July 2017

Overseas Companies

A little known feature of New Zealand's overseas investment regime: New Zealand companies are covered by it if enough of their shares are bought by foreigners.

Here's Calida Smylie at the National Business Review:
Several major listed companies are counted as overseas persons, even though they have no single dominant overseas owner, including Fletcher Building and Air New Zealand.

Agri-business operations are particularly affected by the OIO’s restrictions on land use by foreign people or companies, because once they reach the 25% threshold they must apply to the OIO when renewing or taking on any new leases or buying land.
Other countries chase foreign investment; New Zealand is so enthusiastic about driving it away that it even counts New Zealand companies that wind up with a broad-enough set of owners. I wonder whether this discourages companies from listing publicly.

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