Shareholders must be able to make decisions on an informed basis. This is true when making decisions on whether to buy, hold or sell securities, as well as when voting on corporate actions and other resolutions at shareholder general meetings.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual general meetings have become the norm following the introduction of temporary legislative relief. The virtual format of meetings has its benefits, not least enabling public health and safety. Yet it also has challenges. In recognition of these aspects, we issued a Regulator’s Column on Dec 16 2021 to introduce practices aimed at ensuring shareholders remain well-informed even as general meetings go virtual.
These practices include requiring public responses to shareholder questions between 48 hours and 72 hours prior to the closing date and time for the lodgment of proxy forms. Issuers were also expected to organise a virtual information session for shareholders when convening a general meeting to seek shareholders’ approval in relation to corporate actions such as transfers to or from Mainboard to Catalist, capital reduction or distribution, and interested person transactions.