SECP extends coronavirus contingency plan for corporate meetings

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has extended the applicability of coronavirus related contingency planning for general meetings of shareholders.

In a notification issued on Friday, the SECP extended the applicability of its circular No. 5 of 2020 dated March 17, 2020 to annual general meetings and extra-ordinary general meetings to be held up till January 31, 2021.

In its circular no. 5 dated March 17, 2020, the SECP issued following coronavirus contingency planning for annual general meetings of shareholders:

In light of the threat posed by evolving COVID-19 situation (coronavirus) pandemic and to protect the wellbeing of shareholders, the SECP issued the following directives:

i. In order to avoid large gathering at one place, the companies shall consider provision of video link facilities, webinar or other electronic means.

ii. The companies shall also provide email, WhatsApp number, mobile number or any other electronic mean through which shareholders can provide comments/suggestions for the proposed agenda items of the AGM.

iii. The companies shall disseminate the aforesaid details to the shareholders through its website, Pakistan Stock Exchange and addendum/notice in newspapers along with complete information necessary to enable them to access the facility. Any change in venue shall also be communicated.

iv. It will be responsibility of the company secretary and chairman of the meeting that comments / suggestions of the shareholders should be discussed in the meeting and made part of the minutes of the meeting.

v. Maximum participation of shareholders be ensured via electronic means and by requesting members to consolidate their attendance through proxies, while honoring quorum provisions.

vi. The companies shall consider protective measures during the meeting i.e. provision of hand sanitizers, masks and distant seating etc.

vii. For special business voting through postal ballot shall be considered.

viii. With reference to Circular No. 02/2018 dated February 09, 2018 it is re-emphasized that the provision of gifts/incentive in any form to shareholders at or in connection to general meetings is strictly prohibited under Section 185 of the Act.

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