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U.S. state’s change of law could lead to the confiscation of Swedes shares

Tuesday, 03 April 2012
Over 6000 Swedes threaten to get rid of their shares when U.S. states change its ownership law.

According to Swedish business daily, Dagens Industri the U.S. State of Delaware changed its law on property ownership in 2008, but it's only now that it starts taking effect. The change means that the shares in which the owner had no contact with the issuer within three years is considered abandoned and therefore can be seized by the authorities.

For passive shareholder who reinvests dividends or automatic payment to their bank account, implies that the shares now may suddenly disappear. Exactly how many Swedes may be affected is unclear, but only in the U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, there are 6,000 Swedish shareholders.

The Swedes in March had received a letter which they were required to respond at short notice in order to retain their shares. Only one in five have responded to the letter so far, according to the computer administering the Swedes' holdings in Pfizer.

The fact that Pfizer has so many Swedes in its share holding lists is due to its merger with Pharmacia in 2003 when Swedish share holders were offered Pfizer in exchange.
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