Sunday 12 July, 2020

16 listed companies get green light to host electronic AGMs

The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) on Wednesday, succeeded in its application to the Supreme Court for orders to permit 16 publicly-listed companies to hold their annual general meetings by electronic means.

Companies that were not parties to the JSE’s Supreme Court application cannot rely on the new judgement to host their AGMS. 

The companies that have been given the go-ahead to host their AGMS via partial or full electronic means are Barita Investments Limited, Berger Paints Jamaica Limited, Caribbean Cement Limited, FosRich Company Limited, JMMB Group Limited, Lasco Distributors Limited, Lasco Financial Services Limited, Lasco Manufacturing Limited, Main Event Limited,  Mayberry Investments Limited, Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited, Supreme Ventures Limited, The Jamaica Stock Exchange, Trans Jamaica Highway, Victoria Mutual Investments Limited and Wigton Windfarm Limited.

Mayberry Jamaica Equities, which was on the original application does not appear on the list.

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The JSE, via a notice, said companies that were not parties to the application cannot rely on the court order to either call their AGMs electronically or to serve notices and other relevant documents as the court order permits.

There are about 80 companies listed with the JSE.

The JSE, led by managing director Marlene Street Forrest, made the application on the basis that Jamaican law requires shareholders’ meetings to be held “in person” to discuss, debate and vote on matters.  

Where it is impracticable to do so, a court order is required to hold AGMs by electronic means.

The JSE application noted that it was impracticable for the companies to hold their 2020 AGMS in person, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Supreme Court hearing, Justice Laing granted the application after hearing submissions from Queens Counsel Michael Hylton.

The 16 companies are now permitted to call and hold their 2020 AGMs via live stream or broadcast using electronic means and allow their shareholders to participate and vote electronically either before or at the meetings. 

They can also now serve their shareholders with notices and supporting documents by email or by postings on their websites or the JSE’s website.

Companies from the group of 16 that may have missed their deadlines for 2020 AGMs, now have up to December 31, 2020, to call these meetings, the JSE said.

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