Companies are required by law to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) at the end of every business year to account to shareholders or share with them the performance of the business as well as strategies in the coming/current year.
However, due to the ban on public or social gatherings, the companies in Ghana have not been able to meet physically for their respective AGMs for some time now.
In other not have infractions with the law, companies have initiated steps to hold their AGMs in a more acceptable manner relative to the Covid-19 precautionary measures.
Few of such companies have issued notices to their clients informing them about their next line of action relative to the holding of their AGMs.
While some have announced new dates for their AGMs others are going ahead with their meeting online, relying on new media communication platforms.
Below are excerpts of the notices released by some of the companies.
AngloGold Ashanti’s Notice
‘The notice of the 76th Annual General Meeting of AngloGold Ashanti (AGM), which incorporates summarised financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019, has been distributed to AngloGold Ashanti shareholders on Monday, 11 May 2020.
“A copy of the notice is also available on the Company’s website. The AGM will be held entirely by electronic communication on Wednesday, 10 June 2020 at 14:00 (SA time) as fully detailed in the notice.
“The reason for holding the AGM entirely by way of electronic communication is as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant prohibition on gathering of people and social distancing protocols”.
Benson Oilpalm Plantation Ltd, Adum Banso Estate, Takoradi
“Notice is hereby given to All Shareholders that the 2020 Annual General Meeting of Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited scheduled for 15th May 2O20 has been postponed until further notice”.
“The postponement is in compliance with the restrictions on public gatherings as per the directive issued on March 15, 2020 by the President of the Republic of Ghana as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a subsequent circular issued by the Ghana Stock Exchange on 16th March 2020. A new date for the Annual General Meeting will be announced later”.
Scancom Plc (MTN Ghana)
“Scancom Plc. (“MTN Ghana”) wishes to announce the postponement of its 2020 Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 13, 2020.
“This has become necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing directives imposing restrictions on public gatherings, to curb the spread of the virus namely:
“1. The March 15, 2020 Directive on Public Gatherings issued by the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo; and
“2. The Ghana Stock Exchange Circular No 001/2020 dated March 16, 2020, which reinforced the restrictions on public gatherings as set out in the March 15, 2020 Directive mentioned above.
“Consequently, payment of the Final Dividend for 2019, and the payment date of May 25, 2020, as published in the Scancom Plc. (MTN Ghana) Annual Results for the year ended 31 December 2019 (the “Annual Results”), are hereby also postponed until further notice.
“Kindly note that the Ex-dividend date of April 28, 2020, and the Qualifying date of April 30, 2020 published in the Annual Results remain unchanged.
“The Board of Directors of Scancom Plc. wishes to assure all Shareholders of Scancom Plc. that the Board continues to monitor the situation, and a new date and/or alternatives, will be communicated to Shareholders in due course”.
“Notice is hereby given to all shareholders of CalBank and the investing public that the 2020 Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 6, 2020 at the Accra International Conference Center (AICC) has been postponed until further notice.
“The postponement is pursuant to and in compliance with the directive on public gatherings issued by the President of the Republic of Ghana on March 15, 2020 as part of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“The Board of CalBank will continue to review the situation and provide further information in due course.
“We urge all our shareholders to continue to practice the needed safety protocols as we work together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Fan Milk Limited
“Notice hereby given to all Shareholders of Fan Milk Limited and investing public that the 2020 General Meeting scheduled for May 26, 2020 at the Accra National Theater has been postponed until further notice.
“The postponement is pursuant and in compliance with the directive on public gatherings issued by the President of the Republic on Ghana on March 15, 2020 as part of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“The Board of Fan Milk Limited will continue to monitor the situation and provide information in due course”.
We invite all our shareholders to continue to practice the needed safety protocols as we work collectively to fight the COVID-19 pandemic
Access Bank Pls
“Notice is hereby given that 12th Annual General Meeting of members of Access Bank (Ghana) Plc will be held virtually and streamed live by video link from Access Bank (Ghana) Plc Head Office at Starlet ’91’ road, opposite Accra Sports Stadium, Osu, Accra on Thursday, 28th of May, 2020 at 11am”.
“Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Goil Company Limited scheduled for Wednesday, 27th May, 2020 has been put on hold”.
The stock market continues to slip, possibly due to the outflow of foreign investor funds that see the potential of COVID-19’s impact to be higher in Ghana and Africa than in other places. The year to date returns on the stock market stands at -9.46% (doobia.com)
Investors who had their funds locked up with traditional banks and other financial institutions had to resort to selling off their shares with companies, sometimes at any low price, so they could raise money for themselves.
That is why a company like MTN which was expected to do so great still have their price move down from GHS0.75 per share at IPO to GHS0.68 per share, though the business is doing well and have actually declared a dividend of GHS0.06 per share.