June 16, 2015 / 4:09 AM / 3 years ago

Toyota's new class of stock approved despite opposition from foreign funds

TOYOTA CITY, Japan, June 16 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp shareholders approved a controversial new class of stock on Tuesday that will bring in more long-term investors, but which faced opposition from foreign funds as they are readily available only in Japan.

At least two-thirds of shareholders voted in favour of the shares, named “Model AA” after Toyota’s first passenger car. They will be unlisted and must be held for five years.

Foreign funds opposing the move included the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the second-largest U.S. public pension fund, as well as the Florida State Board of Administration.

Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services had also recommended voting against it, saying the focus on long-term retail shareholders could lead to less incentive for the automaker to maintain fiscal discipline.

The proposal required the approval of a two-thirds majority. Investors had expected a close vote because around 30 percent of Toyota shares are held by foreign investors. (Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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