By nature business enterprises in Belgium were for long a mixture of a few large and many small or medium-sized companies. The shares of the large companies were concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy families. This meant that only a few shares in a small number of companies were (and are) available for trading on the stock exchange. Shareholders with substantial holdings obtained financial information about a company by means other than published reports. They would usually be represented on the board of directors. Moreover, most small or medium-sized companies were family-owned. Family shareholder groups could easily obtain all the financial information they wanted from the management of the company (Timmerman, 1980, p. 53).
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