AGMs should be held as soon as possible after financial year ends

Annual general meetings (AGMs) of listed companies should ideally be held as soon as the financial year ends.

Inevitably, most companies hold it as close to deadline day as possible (currently four months after the close of the financial year), as it gives them more time to prepare their reports and to get these audited.

Extending this period to five months is not going to prevent the bunching of AGMs, as suggested by Mr S. Nallakaruppan (Extend deadline for companies to hold AGMs; April 14).

If companies can be made to spread out their AGMs throughout the suggested extended period of five months, then the authorities may as well extend the dateline to six months or even 12 months to give them more days to juggle with.

It is not increased shareholder activism or renewed awareness that cause shareholders now to want to attend all their AGMs.

The questions posed to the management at some of these meetings sometimes border on the ridiculous and irrelevant.

Attending AGMs involves a choice. One has to decide which AGM is more important, then make time for that particular one.

Instead of extracting clarifications and more information, some shareholders try to be management consultants and insist on telling the management how the company should be run.

For some, the motivation to attend these AGMs is the free food and drinks and/or shopping vouchers.

Attending AGMs involves a choice. One has to decide which AGM is more important, then make time for that particular one.

It is nigh on impossible to attend every AGM of every listed company that one is a shareholder of, just as it is impossible to attend the AGM of every club, society, condominium committee and so on, of which one is a member.

Vincent Khoo Teng Lau

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2017, with the headline 'AGMs should be held as soon as possible after financial year ends'. Print Edition | Subscribe