Martin Lee @ Sg
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New Rules on Poll Voting and General Meetings in Singapore

SGX has finally decided to make it compulsory for listed companies to hold their general meetings in Singapore. In addition, the voting by show of hands method will be replaced by the voting by poll method.

These are positive changes that many investors have been requesting SGX to adopt for a very long time.

(i) Holding of General Meetings in Singapore to be effective 1 January 2014

All SGX primary listed companies and trusts will be required to hold their general meetings in Singapore to promote more active participation and engagement of shareholders.

Where there are legal constraints preventing them from holding their general meetings in Singapore, they are advised to provide alternative modes of engagement such as webcast and information meetings so that public shareholders have access to the board and senior management.

(ii) Voting by Poll to be effective 1 August 2015

Listed companies and trusts will be required to conduct voting by poll where shareholders are accorded rights proportionate to their shareholding and all votes are counted. The new rule will enhance transparency of the voting process and encourage greater shareholder participation.

Shareholders who are unable to attend the meetings can cast their votes through proxies to participate in the outcome of shareholders’ resolutions.

(iii) Disclosure of Voting Outcomes to be effective 1 August 2015

Listed companies and trusts will have to make prompt disclosure of the voting decisions and outcomes. This will improve the quality of information disseminated to all shareholders. The enhanced disclosure is aligned with the expectations of the revised Code of Corporate Governance 2012.

Listed companies and trusts have a two-year period to implement the poll voting processes and disclosure of voting outcomes. SGX encourages all companies and trusts to adopt voting by poll, as soon as practicable, as their commitment to strengthen their corporate governance practice.

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