Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has responded to concerns of listed companies citing COVID-19 as a hindrance to hosting Annual General Meetings (AGMs) & Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs).
The stock exchange has noted the companies’ concerns but urged that they host these meetings virtually and when they can even do so physically:
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Limited (“ZSE”) has received various representations from the market concerning the challenges of convening Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings in the current environment. As such, the ZSE encourages Issuers to convene virtual or electronic meetings in line with section 170 (10) of the Companies and Other Business Entities Act, Chapter 24:31.
This, however, does not prohibit Issuers from convening physical meetings where appropriate. In the event that an Issuer chooses to hold a physical meeting, the Issuer should follow Public Health Guidelines as stipulated by the Government of Zimbabwe.Justin Bgoni – ZSE CEO
In the event that companies conduct the meetings virtually, ZSE suggests that they ensure the following;
- That the meeting allows for identification of shareholders;
- An attendance register is recorded;
- Shareholders should be allowed to participate fully;
- Allow shareholders to cast votes electronically;
- The system/application must be auditable in every respect should any dispute arise;
- The system/application must be secure and encrypted to mitigate risk of hacking.
In the event that the meeting is hosted physically companies are urged to follow public health guidelines:
- Not more than 50 people attend the meeting;
- every individual at the gathering complies with the social and physical distancing rules;
- every individual at the gathering wears a mask;
- ensure availability of alcohol-based sanitizers for attendants;
- conduct temperature checks at points of entry;
- collect information of attendants to assist in contact tracing in the event of infections