ASA (Bermuda) Limited (ASA) had a short press release announcing that the shareholder proposal recommending that the board take steps to eliminate the fund’s discount was defeated. It seemed like this proposal had a fairly good chance of being approved because there were several institutional shareholders who held fairly significant stakes in the fund. But maybe one or more of them decided not to go along with the proposal. The press release did not reveal the actual results of the votes cast, so we do not know how close the proposal came to passing.
After briefly going below 6% in January, the discount is now back up into the double-digits. Assuming that voting on the shareholder proposal was somewhat close, the board should still consider taking steps that would reduce the discount if it stays at this level or higher for very long. If, on the other hand, a large majority of shareholders expressed that they like selling their shares at a discount to NAV, then I guess the board does not need to do anything.