Public listed companies prepare for AGMs

Muscat: With the annual general meetings’ (AGMs) season approaching in March, the companies are forwarding their applications for approval of ordinary annual general meetings by the Capital Market Authority (CMA). On the importance of general meetings of the companies and investment funds, Mohammed bin Saif al Rashdi, Director of Legal Affairs and Enforcement Department at CMA, said the AGMs perform a regulatory role that includes protecting the rights of small shareholders and ensuring integrity, prohibiting conflicts of interests between related parties. The general meeting is the supreme authority of any company and their resolutions are final and mandatory.
He added the general meeting of the company has wide powers as the shareholder can vote and contest its decisions, in addition to measuring the competency of directors and their ability to contribute in directing the management of the company, as well as electing the directors to lead the company in the interest of the shareholders. The legislator allows the shareholders who hold at least 5 per cent of the shares to suspend the resolutions of the general meeting resolved in favour of specific group of shareholders or detrimental to them or for the benefit of directors or others by presenting an objection to the board of directors of CMA.
Al Rashdi said that the CMA commenced approval process of the general meetings of public joint stock companies this season. He added that the CMA is keen to provide protection of the shareholders to exercise their rights by organising the timetable of general meetings to ensure attendance of the shareholder in all meetings of the companies he/she invests in. The CMA will dispatch an observer to attend the general meetings to ensure consistency of the resolutions with the law. CMA is also monitoring the companies’ disclosure through the MSM system, the key resolutions taken by the general meeting in the day following the day of the meeting in an adequate time prior to trading session.
Al Rashdi said an integrated legal framework ensures the rights of shareholders in the general meeting and provides for regulatory role in the general meeting as the matter relates to exercising the rights and active participation in the works of the general meetings. — ONA