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An industry’s first, several NSE-listed firms to hold virtual AGMs this week

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 3Starting this week, several Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firms will hold their annual general meetings where they declare dividends and share their audited financial results for their previous year.

Companies such as Total Kenya, UAP holdings, DTB have told their shareholders that their AGM’s for their year 2020 will be held virtually, with majority of them slated for later this week.

“Notice is hereby given that the 12th annual general meeting of the shareholders of UAP Holdings PLC will be held on Thursday 25th June 2020 at 11.00 a.m. via electronic communication platforms to transact the following business,” reads UAP’s statement.

“Notice is hereby given that the 54th annual general meeting of the shareholders of Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Limited will be held via electronic communication on Thursday 25th June at 11.00 a.m when the business will be transacted,” reads DTB’s statement.

The announcement comes at a time when the Central Bank of Kenya and the Capital Markets Authority had issued contradicting statements on how the firms were to deal AGM’s following the government’s ban on huge public gatherings to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. 

The Capital Markets Authority in March had asked listed firms intending to hold their AGM’s between that period to May to push AGM’s to a later date.

“Listed companies and licensed persons including collective investment schemes are advised to defer the meetings to a later date while ensuring all affected stakeholders are notified in good time,” said Acting Chief Executive Officer Wyckliffe Shamiah.

The directive saw companies such as Standard Chartered Bank announce that it will not meet its dividend payment date as it will not be able to hold an Annual General Meeting with its shareholders, where such matters are approved.

On the other hand, the Central Bank of Kenya directed banks to adopt electronic voting on critical issues linked to AGMs like dividend payment in the quest to have the majority of owners approve board decisions that affect shareholders.

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However, the High Court in Nairobi in May ruled in favor of the listed firms where they could hold AGMs virtually after issuing the statutory 14-day notice to shareholders on the intended meetings.

The companies were also to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Capital Markets Authority.

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