MPs To Summon Rothschild To Mining Row Probe
Nat Rothschild, the City financier, is to be summoned by MPs to aid a probe into the governance of London-listed companies following a string of scandals involving overseas mining groups.
Sky News understands that Mr Rothschild, who engineered the arrival of Genel Energi and Bumi Resources on the London Stock Exchange, is to be asked to appear before the Business Select Committee in autumn.
A number of MPs on the Committee believe that hearing from Mr Rothschild, who stepped down from the board of Bumi last year, will be essential if they are to make recommendations aimed at avoiding repetitions of the accounting and governance problems which beset the Indonesian coal miner.
Other resources groups, such as ENRC of Kazakhstan, have also been afflicted by bitter legal and boardroom rows which have culminated in slumping share prices and disappointing returns for ordinary investors.
It is unclear whether Mr Rothschild, a Swiss resident, has already been contacted about a potential appearance before the Committee.
Its inquiry into the extractive industries sector, which was announced in July, set a deadline of earlier this week for written evidence submissions and expects to begin oral evidence sessions late next month.
An appearance from Mr Rothschild would provide the financier with an opportunity to explain the meltdown in relations between himself and the Bakrie family with whom he struck a deal to bring Bumi to the London market.
Bumi's shares have been suspended for months amid accounting concerns and an increasingly messy divorce settlement between the two groups of shareholders.
"We want to know what the corporate governance concerns are that are raised by the number of extractive industries companies listed in the UK," said one committee member.
"We need to find out whether there are reputational risks for the UK and its financial institutions in being a centre for such businesses."
Mr Rothschild, whose father is Lord Rothschild, another prominent City investor, could not be reached for comment.