Companies postponing AGMs and EGMs, switching to online meetings

TheEdge Mon, Apr 20, 2020 11:22pm - 10 months ago


KUALA LUMPUR (April 20): It has been 34 days since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced on March 18 and many companies have postponed their annual general meetings (AGMs) and extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) in response to the government’s call to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

The Companies Act 2016 requires a company to hold an AGM within six months of its financial year end and not more than 15 months after its last AGM, but in light of the MCO, the Securities Commission and Bursa Malaysia are allowing listed companies the flexibility to defer their AGMs beyond the prescribed six-month period.

The country’s stock exchange operator, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, has itself deferred its AGM from March 31 to April 29 and advised shareholders to attend the adjourned 43rd meeting remotely using the Remote Participation and Voting (RPV) facilities.

Using the RPV facilities, shareholders could exercise their right to participate in the AGM including posting questions to the board and management of the company and voting from the comfort of their home.

Similarly, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd’s AGM would be conducted using live streaming and online remote voting via the RPV facilities on April 30, which are available on Tricor’s TIIH online website, https://tiih.online.

“In accordance with the guidance issued by the Ministry of Health in relation to the outbreak, there will be no distribution of breakfast packs and door gifts for members/proxies who attend and/or participate in the AGM physically or remotely,” the food and beverage manufacturer said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Eco World Development Group Bhd and Eco World International Bhd today notified that their AGMs, initially scheduled for March 25, would be postponed to May 19, with both being held using the RPV facilities. 

Westports Holdings Bhd (WHB) is rescheduling its AGM from April 22 to May 5 but it is making sure there will not be a need to extend further as it will conduct an online AGM this time.

The port operator said the rescheduled date would allow the company’s shareholders to be prepared and familiarised with the electronic means of participating and voting in an online AGM. The meeting will be streamed online by using webpages at https://web.lumiagm.com/. 

WHB said besides enabling it to support the government’s advice of social distancing and not having mass gatherings, an online AGM eliminated the risk of another deferment given the prevailing circumstances and would not be dependent on the outcomes of the current national health situation.

“Therefore, the online AGM also supports the company’s endeavour of maintaining our standards of corporate governance as it will enable Westports to conduct its AGM within six months of its financial year end without requiring any extension of time,” it added.

Meanwhile, Poh Huat Resources Holdings Bhd, which has postponed its 22nd AGM by just over two weeks to April 29, has encouraged its shareholders to submit their votes via proxy form by appointing the chairman as their proxy instead of personal attendance.

The Johor-based furniture manufacturer has also extended the deadline to deposit the instrument appointing a proxy to April 28 before 11 am.

Companies that have deferred their meetings more than once include digital advertising media company Asia Media Group Bhd, which has postponed its 12th AGM twice from March 25 to April 8 and then to May 6 with all the agenda of the meeting remaining unchanged.

Malaysia Pacific Corporation Bhd’s EGM to vote on a proposed RM115 million disposal of land in Johor Bahru, initially scheduled for March 30, was first postponed to April 23 and subsequently to April 30.

Meanwhile, CJ Century Logistics Holdings Bhd has decided to defer its 23rd AGM planned on April 22 to another suitable date, subject to the prevailing regulations.

A similar stand is taken by Paragon Globe Bhd, which initially postponed its EGM from March 18 to April 2 (the deferred EGM was supposed to be hybrid meeting, to provide an option to its shareholders to participate physically or connect electronically to the EGM from a remote location). Its directors have since decided that the EGM would be convened on another date to be determined in due course subject to the announcement of the authorities.

The EGM was to decide on the purchase of 12.6 hectares in Pulai, Johor Bahru, for RM60.96 million and the subscription of 99.06 per cent equity interest in Builtech Acres Sdn Bhd, owner of 10.78 hectares in Sepang, for RM52.9 million.

Some companies may retain their AGM dates but have other issues. Petronas Dagangan Bhd (AGM on June 10), Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (AGM on June 16) and Petronas Gas Bhd (AGM on June 25) noted there might be some delay in the delivery of their respective Integrated Report 2019 hard copies, as requested by the shareholders, following the MCO.

On Saturday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said all AGMs of companies, cooperatives, associations and organisations must be postponed to avoid large gatherings for these meetings until a date to be determined by the Health Ministry.

However, he said online meetings such as video conferencing were allowed.

The minister’s announcement is seen as timely when many companies, especially listed ones, cooperatives and associations, would be holding their AGMs in the months of April, May and June.






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