Corporate governance i statslige aktieselskaber

Michael Gehrke

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Danish state-owned enterprises have generally evolved considerably and take up more and more in the minds of the Danes. This is partly due to the size of some of the enterprises and that some of the enterprises operating in essential activities such as infrastructure and energy. The state-owned enterprises importances for the Danish society are enormous and therefore it seems reasonable to require that the enterprises are managed in an appropriate and transparent manner, so that society has the opportunity to gain an insight into the enterprises. The state-owned enterprises are located in an intersection between the public and private sectors. The enterprises are performing functions of public interest while they are operated under the same conditions as in the private sector. The overall general objective for the establishment of state-owned enterprises is that they must operate professionally in a way that it will be possible to involve private shareholders. It is not in itself a goal to involve private investors, but it is a prerequisite for establishing that the enterprises eventually operate without being subject to sectoral policy. Despite this, state-owned enterprises are from the start, subject to more purpose than listed enterprises, since they perform functions of major importance. Moreover, the ownership is significantly different from private enterprises. An owner of a private enterprise acting through its ownership of economic benefit and has therefore a strong incentive to ensure that it operated in the best commercial way. The owners of the state-owned enterprises are in practice responsible minister for the state, and he achieves only limited benefits from the ownership role. The responsible minister cannot achieve economic benefits of ownership. Sole benefits or costs can be achieved in light of the company's success and will consist of political recognition. In this context, corporate governance is an important element in ensuring that the state-owned enterprises are controlled in a sensible way. Corporate governance recommendations are generally aimed at businesses which are designed to create maximum possible value for shareholders. The recommendations of corporate governance are made, among other things, to make it more attractive to invest in companies. In other words, it is intended that corporate governance recommendations should help to create more value for companies' shareholders. The starting points for the regulation of corporate governance are called soft law. The recommendations concerned are subject to a "comply or explain" - principle and is anchored in the Annual Accounts Act. The enterprises therefore determines themselves whether to follow current recommendations and how much they will publish on their considerations. They must explain the reason for why they do not follow the recommendations, but does not require the level of explanation or the quality of explanation. Market perceives the company's explanation is sufficient. State-owned enterprises are also subject to "comply or explain" principle, but state-owned companies not listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, will not experience the market's assessment of their attitude toward corporate governance recommendations and self-regulation will not have an effect on these companies. This thesis will examine the following theses: Multiple objectives and State particular conditions as owner makes it difficult for agents of state-owned enterprises to run the companies commercially efficient and hard for society to assess enterprise' performance. The Danish corporate governance recommendations is insufficient for the state-owned enterprises and soft law as the regulation of corporate governance have less effect on the compliance of state-owned enterprises than for private companies.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages92