Adopted by the Meeting of the Board of the




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Adopted by the

Meeting of the Board of the

NASDAQ OMX Vilnius

as of 9 February 2010, Minutes No. 10-111

Concerning disclosure of compliance with the Corporate Governance Code for the Companies Listed on NASDAQ OMX Vilnius


The Board of AB NASDAQ OMX Vilnius acting in accordance with item 24.5 of the Listing Rules of the AB NASDAQ OMX Vilnius that are approbated by the Securities Commission of the Republic of Lithuania herewith provides to approve the disclosure form concerning the compliance with the Corporate Governance Code for the Companies Listed on NASDAQ OMX Vilnius (Annex 1).

On 14 February 2009 the amendments to the Corporate Governance Code for the Companies Listed on NASDAQ OMX Vilnius have been adopted by the Management Board of AB NASDAQ OMX Vilnius (Minutes No. 09-106) and have entered into force as of 1 January 2010 (the Securities Commission of the Republic of Lithuania approbated these amendments on 10 February 2010 (Resolution No. 2K-378). Correspondingly Disclosure form concerning the compliance with the Corporate Governance Code for the Companies Listed on NASDAQ OMX Vilnius was amended and shall be applied for the disclosure of annual information for 2010 and subsequent periods. However, it is recommended for the issuer to apply amended form before this deadline.




Chairman of the Board Arminta Saladžienė

Annex 1
Disclosure form concerning the compliance with the Corporate Governance Code for the Companies Listed on NASDAQ OMX Vilnius
The public company „Name of Issuer“, following Article 21 paragraph 3 of the Law on Securities of the Republic of Lithuania and item 24.5 of the Listing Rules of AB NASDAQ OMX Vilnius, discloses its compliance with the Corporate Governance Code for the Companies Listed on NASDAQ OMX Vilnius, and its specific provisions. In the event of non-compliance with the Code or with certain provisions thereof, it must be specified which provisions are not complied with and the reasons of non-compliance.



PRINCIPLES/ RECOMMENDATIONS

YES/NO /NOT APPLICABLE

COMMENTARY


Principle I: Basic Provisions
The overriding objective of a company should be to operate in common interests of all the shareholders by optimizing over time shareholder value.


1.1. A company should adopt and make public the company’s development strategy and objectives by clearly declaring how the company intends to meet the interests of its shareholders and optimize shareholder value.







1.2. All management bodies of a company should act in furtherance of the declared strategic objectives in view of the need to optimize shareholder value.







1.3. A company’s supervisory and management bodies should act in close co-operation in order to attain maximum benefit for the company and its shareholders.







1.4. A company’s supervisory and management bodies should ensure that the rights and interests of persons other than the company’s shareholders (e.g. employees, creditors, suppliers, clients, local community), participating in or connected with the company’s operation, are duly respected.








Principle II: The corporate governance framework
The corporate governance framework should ensure the strategic guidance of the company, the effective oversight of the company’s management bodies, an appropriate balance and distribution of functions between the company’s bodies, protection of the shareholders’ interests.


2.1. Besides obligatory bodies provided for in the Law on Companies of the Republic of Lithuania – a general shareholders’ meeting and the chief executive officer, it is recommended that a company should set up both a collegial supervisory body and a collegial management body. The setting up of collegial bodies for supervision and management facilitates clear separation of management and supervisory functions in the company, accountability and control on the part of the chief executive officer, which, in its turn, facilitate a more efficient and transparent management process.







2.2. A collegial management body is responsible for the strategic management of the company and performs other key functions of corporate governance. A collegial supervisory body is responsible for the effective supervision of the company’s management bodies.







2.3. Where a company chooses to form only one collegial body, it is recommended that it should be a supervisory body, i.e. the supervisory board. In such a case, the supervisory board is responsible for the effective monitoring of the functions performed by the company’s chief executive officer.







2.4. The collegial supervisory body to be elected by the general shareholders’ meeting should be set up and should act in the manner defined in Principles III and IV. Where a company should decide not to set up a collegial supervisory body but rather a collegial management body, i.e. the board, Principles III and IV should apply to the board as long as that does not contradict the essence and purpose of this body.1







2.5. Company’s management and supervisory bodies should comprise such number of board (executive directors) and supervisory (non-executive directors) board members that no individual or small group of individuals can dominate decision-making on the part of these bodies.2







2.6. Non-executive directors or members of the supervisory board should be appointed for specified terms subject to individual re-election, at maximum intervals provided for in the Lithuanian legislation with a view to ensuring necessary development of professional experience and sufficiently frequent reconfirmation of their status. A possibility to remove them should also be stipulated however this procedure should not be easier than the removal procedure for an executive director or a member of the management board.







2.7. Chairman of the collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting may be a person whose current or past office constitutes no obstacle to conduct independent and impartial supervision. Where a company should decide not to set up a supervisory board but rather the board, it is recommended that the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the company should be a different person. Former company’s chief executive officer should not be immediately nominated as the chairman of the collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting. When a company chooses to departure from these recommendations, it should furnish information on the measures it has taken to ensure impartiality of the supervision.








Principle III: The order of the formation of a collegial body to be elected by a general shareholders’ meeting
The order of the formation a collegial body to be elected by a general shareholders’ meeting should ensure representation of minority shareholders, accountability of this body to the shareholders and objective monitoring of the company’s operation and its management bodies.3


3.1. The mechanism of the formation of a collegial body to be elected by a general shareholders’ meeting (hereinafter in this Principle referred to as the ‘collegial body’) should ensure objective and fair monitoring of the company’s management bodies as well as representation of minority shareholders.







3.2. Names and surnames of the candidates to become members of a collegial body, information about their education, qualification, professional background, positions taken and potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed early enough before the general shareholders’ meeting so that the shareholders would have sufficient time to make an informed voting decision. All factors affecting the candidate’s independence, the sample list of which is set out in Recommendation 3.7, should be also disclosed. The collegial body should also be informed on any subsequent changes in the provided information. The collegial body should, on yearly basis, collect data provided in this item on its members and disclose this in the company’s annual report.







3.3. Should a person be nominated for members of a collegial body, such nomination should be followed by the disclosure of information on candidate’s particular competences relevant to his/her service on the collegial body. In order shareholders and investors are able to ascertain whether member’s competence is further relevant, the collegial body should, in its annual report, disclose the information on its composition and particular competences of individual members which are relevant to their service on the collegial body.







3.4 In order to maintain a proper balance in terms of the current qualifications possessed by its members, the desired composition of the collegial body shall be determined with regard to the company’s structure and activities, and have this periodically evaluated. The collegial body should ensure that it is composed of members who, as a whole, have the required diversity of knowledge, judgment and experience to complete their tasks properly. The members of the audit committee, collectively, should have a recent knowledge and relevant experience in the fields of finance, accounting and/or audit for the stock exchange listed companies. At least one of the members of the remuneration committee should have knowledge of and experience in the field of remuneration policy.







3.5. All new members of the collegial body should be offered a tailored program focused on introducing a member with his/her duties, corporate organization and activities. The collegial body should conduct an annual review to identify fields where its members need to update their skills and knowledge.







3.6. In order to ensure that all material conflicts of interest related with a member of the collegial body are resolved properly, the collegial body should comprise a sufficient4 number of independent5 members.







3.7. A member of the collegial body should be considered to be independent only if he is free of any business, family or other relationship with the company, its controlling shareholder or the management of either, that creates a conflict of interest such as to impair his judgment. Since all cases when member of the collegial body is likely to become dependant are impossible to list, moreover, relationships and circumstances associated with the determination of independence may vary amongst companies and the best practices of solving this problem are yet to evolve in the course of time, assessment of independence of a member of the collegial body should be based on the contents of the relationship and circumstances rather than their form. The key criteria for identifying whether a member of the collegial body can be considered to be independent are the following:


  1. He/she is not an executive director or member of the board (if a collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting is the supervisory board) of the company or any associated company and has not been such during the last five years;




  1. He/she is not an employee of the company or some any company and has not been such during the last three years, except for cases when a member of the collegial body does not belong to the senior management and was elected to the collegial body as a representative of the employees;




  1. He/she is not receiving or has been not receiving significant additional remuneration from the company or associated company other than remuneration for the office in the collegial body. Such additional remuneration includes participation in share options or some other performance based pay systems; it does not include compensation payments for the previous office in the company (provided that such payment is no way related with later position) as per pension plans (inclusive of deferred compensations);




  1. He/she is not a controlling shareholder or representative of such shareholder (control as defined in the Council Directive 83/349/EEC Article 1 Part 1);




  1. He/she does not have and did not have any material business relations with the company or associated company within the past year directly or as a partner, shareholder, director or superior employee of the subject having such relationship. A subject is considered to have business relations when it is a major supplier or service provider (inclusive of financial, legal, counseling and consulting services), major client or organization receiving significant payments from the company or its group;




  1. He/she is not and has not been, during the last three years, partner or employee of the current or former external audit company of the company or associated company;




  1. He/she is not an executive director or member of the board in some other company where executive director of the company or member of the board (if a collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting is the supervisory board) is non-executive director or member of the supervisory board, he/she may not also have any other material relationships with executive directors of the company that arise from their participation in activities of other companies or bodies;




  1. He/she has not been in the position of a member of the collegial body for over than 12 years;




  1. He/she is not a close relative to an executive director or member of the board (if a collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting is the supervisory board) or to any person listed in above items 1 to 8. Close relative is considered to be a spouse (common-law spouse), children and parents.

3.8. The determination of what constitutes independence is fundamentally an issue for the collegial body itself to determine. The collegial body may decide that, despite a particular member meets all the criteria of independence laid down in this Code, he cannot be considered independent due to special personal or company-related circumstances.









3.9. Necessary information on conclusions the collegial body has come to in its determination of whether a particular member of the body should be considered to be independent should be disclosed. When a person is nominated to become a member of the collegial body, the company should disclose whether it considers the person to be independent. When a particular member of the collegial body does not meet one or more criteria of independence set out in this Code, the company should disclose its reasons for nevertheless considering the member to be independent. In addition, the company should annually disclose which members of the collegial body it considers to be independent.







3.10. When one or more criteria of independence set out in this Code has not been met throughout the year, the company should disclose its reasons for considering a particular member of the collegial body to be independent. To ensure accuracy of the information disclosed in relation with the independence of the members of the collegial body, the company should require independent members to have their independence periodically re-confirmed.







3.11. In order to remunerate members of a collegial body for their work and participation in the meetings of the collegial body, they may be remunerated from the company’s funds.6. The general shareholders’ meeting should approve the amount of such remuneration.








Principle IV: The duties and liabilities of a collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting
The corporate governance framework should ensure proper and effective functioning of the collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting, and the powers granted to the collegial body should ensure effective monitoring7 of the company’s management bodies and protection of interests of all the company’s shareholders.



4.1. The collegial body elected by the general shareholders’ meeting (hereinafter in this Principle referred to as the ‘collegial body’) should ensure integrity and transparency of the company’s financial statements and the control system. The collegial body should issue recommendations to the company’s management bodies and monitor and control the company’s management performance.8







4.2. Members of the collegial body should act in good faith, with care and responsibility for the benefit and in the interests of the company and its shareholders with due regard to the interests of employees and public welfare. Independent members of the collegial body should (a) under all circumstances maintain independence of their analysis, decision-making and actions (b) do not seek and accept any unjustified privileges that might compromise their independence, and (c) clearly express their objections should a member consider that decision of the collegial body is against the interests of the company. Should a collegial body have passed decisions independent member has serious doubts about, the member should make adequate conclusions. Should an independent member resign from his office, he should explain the reasons in a letter addressed to the collegial body or audit committee and, if necessary, respective company-not-pertaining body (institution).







4.3. Each member should devote sufficient time and attention to perform his duties as a member of the collegial body. Each member of the collegial body should limit other professional obligations of his (in particular any directorships held in other companies) in such a manner they do not interfere with proper performance of duties of a member of the collegial body. In the event a member of the collegial body should be present in less than a half9 of the meetings of the collegial body throughout the financial year of the company, shareholders of the company should be notified.







4.4. Where decisions of a collegial body may have a different effect on the company’s shareholders, the collegial body should treat all shareholders impartially and fairly. It should ensure that shareholders are properly informed on the company’s affairs, strategies, risk management and resolution of conflicts of interest. The company should have a clearly established role of members of the collegial body when communicating with and committing to shareholders.







4.5. It is recommended that transactions (except insignificant ones due to their low value or concluded when carrying out routine operations in the company under usual conditions), concluded between the company and its shareholders, members of the supervisory or managing bodies or other natural or legal persons that exert or may exert influence on the company’s management should be subject to approval of the collegial body. The decision concerning approval of such transactions should be deemed adopted only provided the majority of the independent members of the collegial body voted for such a decision.







4.6. The collegial body should be independent in passing decisions that are significant for the company’s operations and strategy. Taken separately, the collegial body should be independent of the company’s management bodies10. Members of the collegial body should act and pass decisions without an outside influence from the persons who have elected it. Companies should ensure that the collegial body and its committees are provided with sufficient administrative and financial resources to discharge their duties, including the right to obtain, in particular from employees of the company, all the necessary information or to seek independent legal, accounting or any other advice on issues pertaining to the competence of the collegial body and its committees. When using the services of a consultant with a view to obtaining information on market standards for remuneration systems, the remuneration committee should ensure that the consultant concerned does not at the same time advice the human resources department, executive directors or collegial management organs of the company concerned.







4.7. Activities of the collegial body should be organized in a manner that independent members of the collegial body could have major influence in relevant areas where chances of occurrence of conflicts of interest are very high. Such areas to be considered as highly relevant are issues of nomination of company’s directors, determination of directors’ remuneration and control and assessment of company’s audit. Therefore when the mentioned issues are attributable to the competence of the collegial body, it is recommended that the collegial body should establish nomination, remuneration, and audit committees11. Companies should ensure that the functions attributable to the nomination, remuneration, and audit committees are carried out. However they may decide to merge these functions and set up less than three committees. In such case a company should explain in detail reasons behind the selection of alternative approach and how the selected approach complies with the objectives set forth for the three different committees. Should the collegial body of the company comprise small number of members, the functions assigned to the three committees may be performed by the collegial body itself, provided that it meets composition requirements advocated for the committees and that adequate information is provided in this respect. In such case provisions of this Code relating to the committees of the collegial body (in particular with respect to their role, operation, and transparency) should apply, where relevant, to the collegial body as a whole.






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