KHAYA SITHOLE: Regulation needed to ensure corporates play by rules
Listing in faraway tax havens allows them to exploit the accountability gap, leading to fiascos such as Steinhof and Tongaat
This week Naspers announced an embarrassing delay in the listing of its stock in the European market. The listing in Amsterdam would be the biggest such undertaking by a local company since Steinhoff went to Frankfurt – hopefully with different outcomes for all stakeholders.
While the primary reason cited for the decision is the need to attract incremental investor capital, which will no doubt be beneficial to Naspers, another less understood reason why going global is appealing is the global accountability gap. Such a gap arises from the lack of universally consistent regulation for companies across the world. This is evidenced through different tax rules, different incentive models, legal and governance systems.