04 November 2003

SEC Approves NYSE, Nasdaq Corporate Governance Rules

Bloomberg.com: U.S.: "SEC Approves NYSE, Nasdaq Corporate Governance Rules (Update4)

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved stricter corporate governance standards for more than 6,000 companies that list their stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange.

The new rules require that the boards of listed companies have a majority of independent directors and comply with a more detailed definition of independence, an SEC press release said. The standards also put independent directors in charge of corporate governance, audits, director nominations and compensation, the SEC said.

``These rule changes are at the core of a broad movement by our markets to enhance the corporate governance practices of the companies traded on them,'' SEC Chairman William Donaldson said. ``Investors will recognize significant benefits from these actions today and long into the future.''

The listing rules come as the NYSE, the world's largest stock exchange, wrestles with questions about the independence of its own board after the disclosure of former Chairman Richard Grasso's $140 million compensation package. The NYSE and Nasdaq originally proposed the listing standards more than a year ago to restore investor confidence after accounting scandals at Enron Corp. and other companies."

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