SC issues guidance on virtual AGM, as companies told to move shareholder meetings online


KUALA LUMPUR: The annual general meeting (AGM) season is under way for companies with December 31 year ends, but as the movement control order (MCO) is in force, executives are told to turn their shareholders meetings into virtual events.

This is a first for corporate Malaysia amid the unprecedented situation brought about by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

To help listed companies hold their meetings online, the Securities Commission has issued a guideline to ensure companies can continue to meet their obligations under the law and to shareholders during the MCO period.

"For fully virtual general meetings, the Guidance Note states that there should not be more than eight essential individuals physically present at the broadcast venue," the SC said in a statement today.

This includes the Chairperson of the general meeting, joined by the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the company secretary, the auditor and those providing audio-visual support. "However, the SC stressed that listed issuers should try to conduct the fully virtual meeting with as few individuals present at the venue as possible," it said.

"Those present must observe all social distancing guidelines," it added.
Companies can submit an application to the SC for a time-limited travel exemption for the essential individuals to travel to the broadcast venue for the fully virtual meetings.

"We also encourage companies to continue leveraging technology, even beyond the MCO period, to conduct meetings in a manner that will encourage and enable full shareholder participation, even from remote locations,” SC chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar said in the statement.

The hybrid general meetings, which involve multiple venues in different locations, can only be conducted after the MCO period has ended, in order to adhere to the government’s directives to curb the spread of Covid 19.

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