Australia To Make Permanent Company Laws Allowing Virtual AGMs

SYDNEY: Australia will make permanent rules introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic that allow companies to hold virtual shareholder meetings and electronically distribute documents, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported on Wednesday.

Under the new rules, companies will be able to hold a mix of in-person and online meetings if the company’s shareholders are given “reasonable opportunity to participate”, the newspaper said, citing Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Frydenberg will introduce the proposed legislation in the country’s parliament on Wednesday, the report said.

“With so much of corporate Australia having shifted online throughout the pandemic, these reforms reflect the fact that the way we do business is changing,” Frydenberg was quoted as saying.

Instead of physically mailing annual reports and other information, companies will be able to email them or post links on a website. Frydenberg’s office did not immediately respond to a request seeking comments.

The temporary measures were introduced in May 2020 as part of the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis and were later extended until March 31, 2022.

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