Response to Natsteel’s reply

Date: May 19, 2003

Having perused the response from Natsteel Board to SIAS’ call to separate the Special Dividend Resolution from the M&A Resolution, to say the least, we are disappointed. The Board has not answered the vital question; what is the necessity for the tie-up? The proposed Resolution to amend the M&A can still be supported if only it stands independent of the Special Dividend resolution.

No plausible reason(s) has been advanced to justify the tie-up. In fact, the reasons advanced are, with respect, difficult to understand. The problems discussed by Natsteel in their reply can be addressed and achieved without requiring the vote on the M&A resolution to be mandatory. By their own statement, the proposed amendments are not applicable to the Special Dividend payment but rather applicable to payments of future dividends only.

Our advice to the Natsteel Board is separate the Special Dividend resolution from the M&A resolution to avoid the exercise being doomed to failure. It only gives rise to unnecessary controversy and is not at all helpful to minority shareholders’ expectation for the Special Dividend payment.

Mr David Gerald J.
President & CEO
Securities Investors Association (Singapore)