SINGAPORE - Singapore’s regulatory authorities on Thursday opened for public consultation proposed changes to a set of laws that would allow companies to hold general meetings online.
The public consultation exercise will run from Feb 9 to 20, according to a statement by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra), the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
General meetings usually refer to gatherings of a company’s shareholders – such as the annual general meeting and extraordinary general meeting – during which the company’s plans and activities are discussed and important decisions made.
The statement said Acra, MOF and MAS have proposed legislative amendments to the Companies Act 1967, to enable the conduct of general meetings by electronic means.
Similar amendments will be made to the Variable Capital Companies Act 2018 and the Business Trusts Act 2004, to give variable capital companies and business trusts the option to conduct general meetings virtually, said the statement.
The move was flagged on Dec 15 when the Ministry of Law announced that the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings) Orders, which enable companies to hold meetings through electronic means, would cease with effect from July 1, 2023.
On the same day, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) also said that it would work closely with MAS to provide guidance for listed companies to have the option to conduct fully virtual or hybrid meetings.
The statement said the public can access consultation documents, including the draft Companies, Business Trusts and Other Bodies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2023, on the Reach consultation portal.
The public consultation documents are also available on the websites of Acra, MOF and MAS.
The regulators will publish a summary of the comments received, without disclosing the respondents’ identities.
However, they will not separately address or acknowledge every comment received on the proposed amendments.