Why activist investors are turning up the heat in Asia

No longer "corporate raiders", activists are increasingly looking to opportunities to add value by bringing old-fashioned companies into the modern era. In Asia, there's no shortage of targets.

Once regarded as a niche strategy in the US and Europe, shareholder activism has shed its corporate raider tag as it increasingly takes hold in Asia.

Asia accounted for 31% of non-US activist activity in 2017, up from just 11% in 2011, with local players increasingly playing an active role alongside the better-known international firms, according to a new JP Morgan report, Shareholder Activism in Asia, published on Monday.

Asia is dominated by companies that are often tightly held by the founding family, for example South Korea’s chaebols, and shareholder activists are turning their attentions to such traditionally managed companies when previously they had shied away....
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