You are a shareholder, know your rights

Buying shares in a company makes us owners, even in a limited proportion. As shareholders, we must be aware of our rights and duties. In Spain, the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) recommends knowing the most important rights, which are divided into two groups: political and economic.

The CNMV highlights the following political rights:

  • The right to attend the Shareholders’ Meetings, although the bylaws of the company may limit attendance to the holders of a minimum number of shares or based on seniority.
  • The right to vote in General Meetings. Although there may be cases of shares without the right to vote, the vote is proportional to the nominal value of shares as a general rule.
  • The right of information. Given that listed companies have an obligation of transparency, the shareholder must have access to the annual accounts and other documents that will be approved at the Meeting. You can also request clarifications or ask questions about the items on the agenda of the Meeting.

On the other hand, the main economic rights are:

  • The right to receive dividends, that is, the proportional part of the profits that the General Meeting approves to distribute among the shareholders at the proposal of the Board of Directors.
  • The right of subscription of new securities in capital increases or when issuing convertible bonds, in such a way that shareholders are offered the possibility of maintaining the same percentage of participation in the capital share.
  • The right to the liquidation fee once the company has been dissolved.

The list of rights does not end here. Shareholders must not only know all of them – they should consult the specifications that the company may have established in the bylaws.