SGX, partners issue standards for companies holding virtual general meetings

Companies should deploy systems that will allow attendees to register interest for meetings and verify identities virtually. PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), Singapore Institute of Directors and Chartered Secretaries Institute of Singapore on Thursday put out a set of standards for companies to consider when holding virtual or hybrid general meetings.

The regulator recommended that companies deploy systems that will allow attendees to register interest for the meetings and verify their identities virtually. Additionally, these virtual meetings should allow attendees to submit questions through various methods, including through in-text methods online, via videoconference or audio conference.

Most importantly, members at a virtual or hybrid general meeting should be allowed to vote on resolutions, with the option to amend their submitted votes up until the close of voting for each resolution, said SGX RegCo.

These standards come after the Ministry of Law in April 2020 allowed entities to hold general meetings via electronic means amid Covid-19 restrictions. They will be allowed to hold such meetings virtually until the ministry revokes or amends the order.

This prompted the regulator to seek input from stakeholders across the market community and the birth of these standards, which aim to engage companies effectively at hybrid or virtual meetings as well as fulfil the typical requirements of allowing shareholders to vote at the meetings.

SGX Regco encourages all issuers of such meetings to hold these considerations in mind when choosing service providers for their virtual/hybrid shareholder meetings.

“It is our hope that this set of standards will help assure issuers of the adequacy of the systems they use in order to hold such meetings,” said SGX RegCo chief executive Tan Boon Gin. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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