NAIROBI, Kenya, June 9-Nairobi Securities Exchange listed companies will have to obtain a no objection order form the Capital Markets Authority before holding virtual AGM’s owing to the social distancing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
In a circular to listed companies on Monday, the regulator said the companies will have to share details of how the meeting will be conducted to ensure that the shareholders will be involved in some of the important decisions usually made during such gatherings.
“The companies will have to send details to CMA on how the meeting will be held; and demonstrate how requisite information will be provided to shareholders to enable them make informed decisions,” reads CMA’s statement.
According to Acting Chief Executive Officer Capital Markets Authority Wycliffe Shamiah, the guidelines are according to the High Court Ruling which allowed companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange to hold virtual general meetings at a time when the government has banned public gatherings in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Further, CMA has agreed with stakeholders to waiver of the need for listed companies and market intermediaries to publish their financials in newspapers and flexibility to use websites and social media channels instead.
The companies were also allowed to progress key issues such as approval and payment of dividends and appointment of auditors which would be ratified once AGMs are convened.
The High Court had in March ruled in favor of the listed companies to hold virtual AGMS’s after issuing the statutory 14-day notice to shareholders on the intended meetings.
This was after 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.