Martin Lee @ Sg
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MAS Introduces Requirement for REITs AGM

As part of a new MAS requirement, all Singapore listed REITs will be required to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) once every calendar year and not more than 15 months from the last preceding AGM, with effect from 1 January 2010.

This means all REITs will have held an AGM by 31 Dec 2010. In line with SGX’s rule on the timing of AGMs for other listed issuers, REITs will have to hold their AGMs within 4 months from their financial year end.

During the AGM, REIT managers will have to present the REIT’s audited profit and loss accounts (accompanies by an auditor’s report) to the unitholders. Other items on the agenda would be at the REIT manager’s discretion.

In the past, there were no requirement for the REITS to have AGMs. Some of them might have information sessions  while others might not. For example, Saizen REITs held an information session a few days ago where they even flew in some of their asset managers from Japan to give a briefing.

Having a mandatory AGM is good for corporate governance as it provides an additional avenue for retail investors to have access to the REITs management.

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