E Tuesday Update

It is not easy to get human rights respected in Portuguese-speaking countries, even outside Africa (Mozambique and Angola). The ghost of Salazar still strides around Portugal and Brazil is run by a Trump pal named Bolsonaro who reminds me of the colonels who ran the country in my youth.

So when I got a package today from Cosan with a proxy for my owned shares of Cosan S.A as of Jan. 4 it took me a moment to realize that the proxy vote is a farce. To join it you have to sign up by Jan. 14 [ie last week].

This will allow Cosan to restructure around not the current Brazilian firm, but around its subsidiaries CSAN and CLOG (logistics) to integrate the offshore Bermuda arm of the company. The new integrated company will offer ADRs called CSAN to owners of CZZ, The vote is Friday and to exercise your right you have to sign up today at www.proxyvote.com with a number on your notification. If the vote goes through, you will be rewarded with new shares in an ADR called CSAN to be created in this quarter. You must sign up by 5 p.m. EST today.

The merger will give CZZ shareholder 1.29401595263 shares of the new entity and also give owners of the corporate B shares that bonus. There will be no fractional shares for CZZ ADR owners of course, so count on the bulk going to the local brass. In the end they expect former CZZ shareholders will own 66% of the shares of the new outfit. While I support the nature of the restructuring I think the restrictions on US ADR owners are … typically Portuguese. I do support the restructuring but don't like the way it is being run by insiders rather than ordinary shareholders.

Poor Wendy Wasserstein, the late playwrite, who wrote about a bank called Honkers and Shankers, then an Asian powerhouse, and my personal bank.It is closing its global trading desk which was an innovation about 10 years ago, when every major New York City branch of HSBC got a specialist in international stock trading on behalf of clients. Now the bank will only recommend exchange-traded and mutual funds via its branches—not individual stocks and bonds. The main fund management arm is being moved to a new outfit called “Wealth Sales” and will charge high fees for trading and managing your money. In this era of cheapo brokerage fees, I fear that the managed account is something like a dodo. If you are tempted to be sold wealth, telephone 1 800 662 3343. HSBC, formally British, is floundering in its USA business mainly because of restrictions by China on its leading Asian operation, out of Hong Kong (which the H stands for; the S is for Shanghai). Its Hong Kong chief personally wrote to a dissident who had moved away from Hong Kong (to the US) explaining that the local bank could not give him access to his money.

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