Transparency of ownership and control in Germany

  • We first analyze legal provisions relating to corporate transparency in Germany. We show that despite the new securities trading law (WpHG) of 1995, the practical efficacy of disclosure regulation is very low. On the one hand, the formation of business groups involving less regulated legal forms as intermediate layers can substantially reduce transparency. On the other hand, the implementation of the law is not practical and not very effective. We illustrate these arguments using several examples of WpHG filings. To illustrate the importance of transparency, we show next that German capital markets are dominated by few large firms accounting for most of the market’s capitalization and trading volume. Moreover, the concentration of control is very high. First, 85% of all officially listed AGs have a dominant shareholder (controlling more than 25% of the voting rights). Second, few large blockholders control several deciding voting blocks in listed corporations, while the majority controls only one block.

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Author:Marco Becht, Ekkehart Boehmer
Parent Title (English):Institut für Handels- und Wirtschaftsrecht (Osnabrück): Arbeitspapiere ; Nr. 69
Parent Title (German):Institut für Bankrecht (Frankfurt, Main): Arbeitspapiere ; Nr. 69
Series (Serial Number):Arbeitspapiere / Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, Institut für Bankrecht (69)
Publisher:Institut für Handels- und Wirtschaftsrecht
Place of publication:Osnabrück
Document Type:Working Paper
Year of Completion:1999
Year of first Publication:1999
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2005/04/11
GND Keyword:Deutschland; Aktionärsstruktur; Corporate Governance; Publizitätspflicht; Kapitalmarktrecht
Page Number:93
publ. u.d.T. Ownership and Voting Power in Germany in: Barca/Becht [Hrsg.], The Control of Corporate Europe, 2001, 128
Institutes:Rechtswissenschaft / Rechtswissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht