“MSWG urges PLCs to appoint independent moderators at virtual general meetings”
As published in Inve$t Malaysia 19 June 2020 issue
Bursa Malaysia announces six new additions to FTSE4Good Index Bursa Malaysia Bhd announced the addition of six companies and the deletion of two companies in the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Index (F4GBM). The F4GBM Index measures the performance of PLCs demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. The six additions are Bermaz Auto, Duopharma Biotech, Inari Amertron, Karex, RCE Capital and Star Media Group while the two deletions are Parkson Holdings and UMW Holdings. Bursa Malaysia and FTSE Russell have been conducting outreach programmes to encourage and support companies in improving their ESG disclosures and practices. With this latest review, the total number of constituent companies is at 73, reflecting a 204 percent increase since its launch in 2014. The F4GBM Index constituents are drawn from the companies on the FTSE Bursa Malaysia EMAS Index, comprising PLCs from across the small, medium and large market capitalisation segments.
The Minority Shareholders Watch Group (MSWG) has called upon public-listed companies (PLCs) to appoint independent moderators at virtual general meetings to boost the transparency of Q&A sessions. PLCs have had to embrace technology in an unprecedented manner by having to hold their AGMs fully virtual online. According to MSWG CEO Devanesan Enanson, corporate representatives of MSWG have encountered cases of PLCs skipping questions posed to the PLC via the query box during the live streaming process of the virtual general meetings. And that subsequent to the virtual AGM, shareholders may sometimes get feedback from the PLC that the PLC was not able to address the question during the virtual general meeting due to ‘lagging’ or ‘buffering’, hence shareholders sometimes do not get their questions answered. More often than not since the moderator is the company secretary or an employee of the PLC, MSWG expressed its concern that PLCs would conveniently ‘overlook’ questions asked by shareholders, especially those that are ‘hard-hitting, sensitive or controversial’. Hence the presence of independent moderators will lead to more fair, objective and impartial Q&A sessions that will better replicate the experience of a physical meeting. To help prevent incidents of questions being overlooked by the board, MSWG also suggested presenting all questions on screen during the general meeting so that all shareholders see what questions are being asked. It also foresees virtual meetings becoming the preferred choice of the PLC (no longer a choice by necessity) which means the transparency of Q&A sessions are essential.
Malaysia’s RM35 billion short term Economy Recovery Package (ERP) called ‘Penjana’ was announced recently. To have a better insight on the sectors and companies that stand to benefit from this, please register for ShareInvestor’s free webinar on Monday 22June at 8.30pm hosted by JT Low, a full-time trading coach and the Founder-Director of Stock Aid Sdn Bhd.
Meanwhile, Honda Malaysia has issued a product recall for 55,354 vehicles to replace the fuel pump as a precautionary measure, in line with the carmaker’s global fuel pump recall. Among the affected models are the Accord produced in 2018, BR-V (2018), City (2019), City (HEV) (2019), Civic (2018), CR-V (2018 & 2019), HR-V (2018), HR-V (HEV) (2018), Jazz (2019) and Jazz (HEV) (2019). The company believes this product recall is necessary as a preventive measure to address the possibility of a loss of engine power or vehicle stalling. Honda Malaysia urges all affected customers to contact any Honda authorised dealer to make an appointment upon receipt of notification to replace the fuel pump subject to parts availability. The company said the replacement of the affected fuel pump, of which stock will be available in stages, is free of charge and all costs related to this replacement activity will be borne by the automaker. As the Honda toll-free number is undergoing technical maintenance, the company said vehicle owners could obtain more information on this product recall by contacting any Honda authorised dealer or log on to www.honda.com.my to check the status of their vehicles.
Ambank in its research expects the ringgit’s movement to come under pressure as the US dollar strengthened on the back of geopolitical concerns involving border skirmishes between Chinese and Indian troops, fresh provocation by Pyongyang as well as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However, the central bank will use its ‘full range of tools’ to cushion households and businesses. The ringgit is expected to trade between the support levels of 4.2509 and 4.2673 while resistance is pinned at 4.2944 and 4.3126. Compared to major currencies, the ringgit rose mostly higher against major currencies, strengthening against the euro at 0.55%, British pound at 0.53%, 0.19% against the Australian dollar and appreciated 0.08% against the Singapore dollar, year-to-date. However, regionally the ringgit closed lower by 0.44% against Japanese yen, slid 0.06% against Thai baht, 0.20% to Philippine peso.
This week, on Thursday (18Jun), the Ringgit was 4.2755 against USD from 4.2725 on Monday (15Jun). Meanwhile, the Ringgit was 3.0709 to the Sing Dollar on Thursday (18Jun). On Monday (15Jun), the FBM KLCI shed 47.19 points or 3.05% to 1498.83 from previous Friday’s close of 1546.02. But as at Friday (19Jun) 10:00am, the FBM KLCI has recovered to 1508.67 from the lowest point of the week which follows the recovery of the global markets from the Monday drop.