THE approval threshold for independent shareholders voting on privatisations has been raised from 75 per cent to 90 per cent where schemes of arrangement are used. After consultation the Securities and Futures Commission has made the amendment to its Takeovers and Mergers Code in a bid to further protect the interests of investors. The change brings the scheme of arrangement privatisation path in line with the general offer route, which demands 90 per cent acceptances of all shares which are the subject of the offer. ''The amendments provide an incentive for privatisations to be made on terms that are fair and reasonable to shareholders,'' an SFC spokesman said. The changes follow a period of SFC consultation triggered by the controversial failed privatisation of Chinese Estates by Evergo International. Minority shareholders, at a special meeting that approved the deal, were able to block it going ahead. The changes become effective from today after meeting the approval of the Takeovers Panel on March 31.