Updated at 6.30pm: The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on Tuesday announced a proposal for lowering the company ownership threshold for takeovers to 30 per cent from the current 35 per cent. This means that investors who increases their equity interest in a company to over 30 per cent would be required to make an offer to take up all the remaining shares in the concern. The proposal, which would bring the SAR in line with most major economies, including the mainland, is part of the SFC's consultation paper on a review of codes on takeovers and mergers and share repurchases published on Tuesday. The consultation period lasts until May 31 and the plan, if adopted, would take effect on January 1, 2002. Small shareholders have long campaigned for such a move, arguing that it was needed to protect their interests.