The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has continued to receive inquiries pertaining to the hosting of Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and requesting guidance to comply with the mandatory requirement within the boundaries of an excepted framework in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 via its participants and introduce the virus to new communities. Given the public health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, the CSE in its continued efforts to promote social distancing and discourage public gatherings has offered guidance to assist Listed Companies in meeting their obligation of hosting an AGM.
The Listing Rules of the CSE do not contain specific provisions relating to the date on which an AGM is to be hosted by a listed company. As such, listed companies will be required to comply with the applicable provisions set out in the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 (‘Companies Act’) and the Articles of Association of the company in this regard.
This interim guidance is intended to act as a guideline for companies listed on the CSE, setting out the possible approaches that may be adopted in hosting AGMs amidst the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidance offered is purely for information purposes and should be construed only as a guide. It is imperative that a listed company obtain appropriate legal advice in determining the most appropriate arrangement regarding the conduct of an AGM in the current context.