Extend deadline for companies to hold AGMs

The annual general meeting (AGM) season is here again for more than 400 listed companies whose financial year ends on Dec 31.

As the Companies Act requires companies to hold their AGMs within four months of the end of their financial year, many companies are rushing to hold their AGMs this month, especially in the last week.

A shareholder who has invested in several of these companies would find it an uphill task to attend many of the AGMs, due to this bunching.

The AGM is important to a shareholder, as it is the only opportunity for him to meet the top management and raise questions to understand the company's business better.

I urge the authorities to urgently look into this perennial plight of retail investors.

I suggest that the deadline for holding AGMs be extended from four months to five months from the end of the financial year.

Companies should also be made to book time slots for holding AGMs, with no more than 10 slots per day.

More companies could also be encouraged to hold AGMs in the evenings or on weekends, so that more shareholders can attend.

These measures would go a long way towards having a more informed investor community.

S. Nallakaruppan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2017, with the headline 'Extend deadline for companies to hold AGMs'. Print Edition | Subscribe