KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Bhd will consider granting a further extension of time to companies which triggered the criteria of Practice Note 17 (PN17) and Guidance Note 3 (GN3) from Jan 2,2019 to Dec 31,2020, to enable them to submit their regularisation plans to the Securities Commission (SC) or the exchange after the 24-month grace period.
Nevertheless, this would only be done on a case-by-case basis and based on the requirements made by the companies to Bursa Malaysia.
The local stock exchange operator said it is cognisant that the Covid-19 pandemic would have a material impact on the efforts and ability of PN17/GN3 companies to regularise their financial condition.
“As such, we have introduced a relief measure on March 26,2020, whereby companies that trigger any of the criteria of PN17/GN3, between Jan 2,2019 and Dec 31,2020, are accorded a longer period of 24 months, instead of the existing 12 months, to submit their regularisation plans to the SC or the exchange.
“The exchange will consider granting a further extension of time (more than 24 months) if required on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the justifications and material developments at that point of time, ” Bursa Malaysia told Bernama in an email interview recently.
Meanwhile, additional relief measures were also announced on April 16,2020, whereby Bursa Malaysia said companies that triggered any of the suspended criteria between April 17,2020 and June 30,2021, would not be classified as a PN17 or GN3 company for 12 months.
This aims to provide a greater flexibility to the affected listed companies to focus on sustaining their businesses and operations and regularise their financial condition thereon.
“After the 12-month period, the affected listed companies will be required to re-assess their condition to see if it continues to trigger any of the criteria of PN17 or GN3.
“If it continues to trigger any of the said criteria, then they will be classified as PN17 or GN3 and will be required to comply with the obligations, ” it said.
PN17 classification involves financially distressed companies that are listed on Bursa Malaysia’s Main Market, while GN3 status refers to distressed companies that are listed on the ACE Market.
Six companies, which accounted for 0.67% of the total listed companies on Bursa Malaysia, have triggered the suspended criteria of PN17 and GN3 as at July 28,2020.
That consisted of five Main Market listed companies and one ACE Market-listed company, respectively, according to Bursa Malaysia.
“Apart from AirAsia Group Bhd, four other Main Market companies that have triggered the suspended criteria of PN17 as at April 17,2020 were, namely GETS Global Bhd, Ikhmas Jaya Group Bhd, Khee San Bhd, and Cymao Holdings Bhd, while Bahvest Resources Bhd has triggered the suspended criteria of GN3, ” it said.
However, Bursa Malaysia said these companies would not be classified as PN17/GN3 companies, and would not be required to comply with the obligations under the paragraph/Rule 8.04 and PN17 or GN3 of the listing requirements for 12 months, following the relief measures announced by the exchange on April 16,2020.
To record, Bursa Malaysia said 23 companies had been classified under PN17 and three companies under GN3 as at July 28,2020, representing 2.89% of the total companies listed on the local exchange during the period.
Commenting on Bursa Malaysia’s relief measures, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said they would help companies to be uplifted from the PN17/GN3 status, thus enabling them to increase the threshold for new issue of securities to facilitate and expedite fundraising.
Under one of the relief measures announced on April 16,2020, a listed issuer can now increase the general mandate threshold for new issue of securities from the existing 10% to not more than 20% of the total number of issued shares. However, Adam reckoned that should Covid-19 remain unresolved, cash preservation is one of the key steps that companies should take to be uplifted from the PN17/GN3 status. He said it could also be done via prudent management of capital expenditure, especially with regard to expansion plans. — Bernama
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