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Acra, MAS, SGX RegCo update checklist guiding conduct of general meetings

THE Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) have updated a checklist that guides listed and non-listed entities on the conduct of general meetings.

This follows latest updates from the Republic's Multi-Ministry Taskforce to ease safe management measures to facilitate business operations, the three entities said in a joint press statement on Thursday.

Acra, MAS and SGX RegCo said issuers and non-listed companies may continue to conduct their general meetings held on or before June 30, 2021 via electronic means and are encouraged to do so.

"This will help keep physical interactions and Covid-19 transmission risks to a minimum, which remain important in the long term, even as safe distancing regulations are gradually and cautiously relaxed," the three entities said.

Issuers are also encouraged to adopt enhanced digital tools such as real-time remote electronic voting and real-time electronic communication to facilitate shareholder engagement at the meetings.

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Issuers and non-listed companies that wish to provide for physical attendance at their general meetings must ensure they implement all relevant measures to comply with safe management measures imposed by the Singapore government. Issuers must also continue to give shareholders the option to participate in the general meetings via electronic means.

The updated checklist covers notices of meetings, documents relating to the general meeting, questions, voting, proxy forms, the conduct of the meeting, quorum, rights of relevant intermediaries, directors and auditors as well as meeting minutes.

It also applies to variable capital companies and non-listed unit trusts, with the necessary modifications, according to the joint statement.

On Sept 23, the Ministry of Health issued an advisory stating that work-related events within business-oriented workplace premises - including general meetings - would be allowed to resume. This will be for up to 50 persons at permitted premises and not a function centre hired from another, with strict adherence to safe management measures.

Temporary legislative relief was also extended to allow entities to hold general meetings via electronic means up to June 30, 2021. The Ministry of Law also introduced refinements to the alternative arrangements for the conduct of general meetings on Tuesday.

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