Regent Fund Management has lost an attempt to block a proposal by Pioneer Industries - in which the aggressive fund manager holds 20 per cent - to grant a share option scheme to employees and directors. Regent said it would continue its fight against the investment company's management next week at an extraordinary meeting, at which it planned to replace the board with its own representatives. In a marathon 41/2-hour special general meeting yesterday, attended by 14 minority shareholders including Regent's four representatives, Pioneer was able to push through its share option scheme, although it refused to disclose exact details of the vote. When the option scheme comes into effect, it will have a dilutive impact on all shareholders - Regent's principal complaint. Regent chairman Peter Everington said after the meeting that Regent voted 'fully against' the resolution. 'It is inappropriate for Pioneer to launch the option scheme at a time of share price sensitivity,' he said. 'They just want to dilute our shares.' Mr Everington described yesterday's meeting as 'just a warm-up' before next week's extraordinary meeting, called by Regent. As well as wanting to replace Pioneer's 11 directors with 13 representatives, Regent also wants the board to narrow the discount between Pioneer's share price and its net asset value. It has suggested the sale of assets, in particular, Pioneer's stake in Bangkok Bank, as one way of reducing the discount. Mr Everington yesterday alleged that Pioneer chairman and managing director Anthony Teong Chan Gaw had released price-sensitive information to certain shareholders. Pioneer company secretary Jane Kwai Ying Tsui refused to comment on the allegation, saying comments about the release of such information were a matter between Regent and Mr Gaw. Mr Everington claimed some shareholders had been scared into selling their shares - a move reflected in recent abnormally high turnover in the shares. 'We reported the matter to the related authorities six weeks ago,' Mr Everington said. He would not say which authorities, nor what information had been reported. Mr Everington said the price-sensitive information was related to Bangkok Bank, in which Pioneer holds almost 5 per cent. He dismissed rumours that Regent's raid on Pioneer was due to the lucrative Bangkok Bank. 'It [Pioneer shares] was cheap. It was very cheap. We believe we can utilise such big assets [Bangkok Bank] much better,' he said. Mr Everington criticised Pioneer's management for making big investments in the United States and reaping meagre returns of only 1 to 2 per cent. 'With such a low return. . . why not put the money into the Hongkong Bank?' he said.