Tesla shareholders approve CEO Musk’s $2.6 bln compensation plan

FILE- In this Feb. 6, 2018, file photo, Elon Musk, founder, CEO of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Inc., speaks at a news conference after the Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket launched successfully from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Shareholders of electric car and solar panel maker Tesla Inc. are voting on a pay package for Musk that could net him more than $50 billion if he meets lofty milestones over the next decade that include raising the company's market value tenfold. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Tesla shareholders approve CEO Musk’s $2.6 bln compensation plan

SAN FRANCISCO/BOSTON: Tesla Inc. shareholders approved a compensation package potentially worth as much as $2.6 billion for Chief Executive Elon Musk on Wednesday in a test of their confidence in the leader of the electric car company.
A Tesla spokesperson confirmed that shareholders had approved the measure at a special shareholder’s meeting in Fremont, California, but did not disclose the number of votes for or against.
The proposed compensation award for the Silicon Valley billionaire, valued at up to $2.6 billion, involves no salary or cash bonus but sets rewards based on Tesla’s market value rising to as much as $650 billion over the next 10 years.
Ahead of the vote, a top investor in Tesla Inc. and a major proxy adviser offered opposing views on whether to support the compensation arrangement, which required majority approval from shareholders.
The vote has been seen as a test of whether big investors are prepared to support such a large payout at the founder-led company.
Musk’s pay plan “is well aligned with shareholders’ long-term interests,” a spokesman for T. Rowe Price Group, Tesla’s fourth-largest investor with about 6 percent of its shares, told Reuters on Wednesday, without saying which way the Baltimore fund firm would vote.
Earlier this month, proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended Tesla stockholders reject the package, saying the “unprecedented” award was too rich.
A smaller investor, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), also said it would oppose the award. CalSTRS is one of the nation’s largest public pension plans but only the 59th largest investor in the car maker, with a 0.13 percent stake.
“Given the size of the award, we believe the potential dilution to shareholders is just too great. In addition, we have concerns about the lack of focus on profitability for the company, and the one profitability metric that is used excludes the cost of stock-based compensation,” CalSTRS’ Director of Corporate Governance, Anne Sheehan, said in a statement before the vote.
Musk could own as much as $55.8 billion in Tesla stock and more than a quarter of the electric car company in the next decade if he hits all targets of the new plan.
Under the proposed award, which involves stock options that vest in 12 tranches, Tesla’s market value must increase to $100 billion for the first tranche to vest and rise in additional $50 billion increments for the remainder.
Tesla was valued at about $52.46 billion at Tuesday’s closing price, according to Thomson Reuters data. Its shares have fallen nearly 12 percent since the pay plan for Musk was announced.


Turkey cuts investment criteria for foreigners seeking citizenship

Updated 19 September 2018
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Turkey cuts investment criteria for foreigners seeking citizenship

  • Turkey made it easier for foreigners to become Turkish citizens by cutting the financial and investment criteria required for citizenship
  • Foreigners now need only to have $500,000 deposits in Turkish banks

ANKARA: Turkey on Wednesday made it easier for foreigners to become Turkish citizens by cutting the financial and investment criteria required for citizenship, according to a decree from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Foreigners now need only to have $500,000 deposits in Turkish banks, down from $3 million before while fixed capital investment was reduced from $2 million to $500,000 dollars, the decree published in the Official Gazette said.
Meanwhile individuals can obtain citizenship if they employ 50 people, down from the previous 100, while those who own property worth $250,000 can become Turkish citizens, compared to the previous value necessary of $1 million.
The decree is the latest in a series by Erdogan in what appears to be a bid to prop up the embattled Turkish lira and the economy which slowed down in the second quarter.
Last week, the president ordered that contracts for the sale, rent and leasing of property in or indexed to foreign currencies would not be allowed.
The Turkish currency fell against the US dollar drastically in August after one of the most bitter spats between Ankara and Washington over the detention of an American pastor.
The lira lost nearly a quarter in value against the greenback in August.
But there had been investor concerns over domestic economic policy and Erdogan’s continued opposition to high interest rates, although the central bank aggressively hiked its main policy rate 6.25 percent to 24 percent last week.
Erdogan will later meet with representatives of American companies working in Turkey at 1500 GMT at his presidential palace in Ankara, according to the presidential website.
He will meet with 30 senior executives, according to HaberTurk daily, including representatives from Microsoft and Google.