Minority shareholders complain about company AGMs
Minority shareholders have called on listed companies and the Colombo Stock Exchange to ensure no two corporate annual general meetings are held at the same time but their pleas are unlikely to be answered owing to practical difficulties.

These shareholders have complained that they are inconvenienced because many companies tend to hold their AGMs around the same time. This, they said, makes it difficult for them to attend all or most of the AGMs of companies in which they own shares. The problem becomes acute in March every year.

Some shareholders have asked whether this bunching up of AGMs was being deliberately done by some companies who fix their AGMs to clash with other companies. This, they said, might be done in order to disperse shareholders to different locations to prevent queries of their yearly accounts and operational activities.

A CSE spokesman said the exchange does not have the power to tell companies when to hold AGMs. The bunching up of AGMs appears to be accidental because many companies have to submit their annual accounts and hold their AGMs within a limited period of time, he added.

There are 53 companies with their financial year ending in December and 190 companies with their financial year ending in March. "There's a 3-4 months window within which all accounts are submitted and AGMs are held," the CSE spokesman said."These companies have to fit in within this period. So obviously you'll have more than one AGM per day. It's a practical problem."The spokesman also pointed out that shareholders could resort to the mechanism of voting by proxy if they are unable to attend an AGM.

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