The Purpose of Annual General Meetings

Do you ever wonder why Singapore companies conduct annual general meetings?

There is more to an annual general meeting (AGM) than reporting on a business’s activities and financial situation from the previous year. From fulfilling legal obligations to providing a platform for shareholders to come together to discuss integral matters related to the company, all this happens during the annual general meeting. While the agenda and requirements for AGMs may vary, it has one goal: to better a company’s performance in all business aspects.

Learn more about the purpose of AGM in this article. Continue reading.

The Importance of Annual General Meetings

In Singapore, the purpose of conducting is mainly in compliance with the Singapore Companies Act and the company’s constitution. Holding AGMs serves as an essential event for companies to fulfil their legal obligations and provide a platform for shareholders to participate in the decision-making process. Here are some critical purposes of conducting an AGM in Singapore:

  • Financial Reporting

    The annual general meeting is a crucial event for companies registered in Singapore. While it serves as a platform to communicate with shareholders, it also provides essential information about a company’s financial performance. All this happens during the AGM as companies present and discuss their financial statements, typically including the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and auditor’s report.

    Moreover, shareholders could review these financial statements and ask questions about the company’s financial performance during the meeting. They can seek clarifications on specific line items, financial ratios, or any other aspects of the financial statements that may be of concern. This interaction allows shareholders to engage directly with the company’s management and make informed decisions about their investments.

  • Director’s Report and Audited Accounts

    One of the key components of the annual general meeting in Singapore is the presentation of the annual report by the company’s directors. This report contains an in-depth overview of the company’s operations, financial performance, and prospects. These documents help shareholders get a good grasp of the company’s performance over the past year and where it is heading in the future.

    The annual report typically includes various sections covering different aspects of the company’s activities, including the Chairman’s Statement, CEO/Management Discussion and Analysis, Financial Performance, Corporate Governance, and Future Outlook.

  • Election and Appointment of Directors

    Shareholders have a significant role in shaping the composition and governance of the company. They observe this obligation during the annual general meeting by electing or re-electing directors to the board. This process is crucial because the board of directors has an integral role in the company’s operations, setting strategic direction and representing the interest of shareholders.

    Furthermore, shareholders can vote on the appointment or re-election of directors, which is typically conducted through a formal voting process. The shareholders receive information about the candidates standing for election or re-election, including their qualifications, experience, and any relevant disclosures, allowing them to make informed decisions about the individuals who will represent their interests and make critical decisions on their behalf.

    The directors’ election or re-election is conducted through proxy voting or show of hands. Proxy voting allows shareholders to appoint someone else to vote on their behalf. This mechanism enables shareholders who cannot attend the AGM in person to participate in the voting process.

    The outcome of the voting process determines the elected or re-elected candidates to the board of directors. Shareholders’ votes are counted based on the number of shares they hold, giving more weight to shareholders with a larger stake in the company. The elected directors then assume their responsibilities and contribute to the company’s governance.

  • Dividend Declaration

    The annual general meeting is also the company’s opportunity to announce and declare dividends. These are the payments made to shareholders as a distribution of profits and a way for companies to share their financial success with shareholders and give them a return on their investment.

    There is no other best occasion to communicate dividend policy to shareholders than the AGM. The dividend policy outlines the company’s approach to distributing profits. It may specify factors such as the frequency of dividend payments, the percentage of earnings allocated to dividends, and any criteria or conditions that need to be met for dividends to be declared.

    The company’s management or board of directors typically presents information about the dividend policy, explaining the rationale behind the decision and providing insights into the company’s financial position and future cash flow expectations. This information helps shareholders understand the factors considered when determining the dividend amount. It enables them to evaluate the potential returns on their investments.

    Once the dividend announcement is made during the AGM, shareholders receive information about the specific dividend payment. This includes details such as the dividend per share, the total amount to be distributed, the record date (the date on which shareholders must be registered to be eligible for the dividend), and the payment date (when the dividend will be disbursed).

  • Approval of Financial Statements and Reports

    Shareholders hold a significant level of authority and responsibility in ensuring transparency and compliance within the company. One of the key aspects of this responsibility is the approval of financial statements, directors’ reports, and audited accounts.

    The directors’ report complements the financial statements, containing the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, by presenting an overview of the company’s operations, strategy, and significant events during the reporting period. The audited accounts are prepared by an independent auditor who examines the financial statements and provides an opinion on their accuracy and compliance with accounting standards.

    After that, shareholders are presented with these financial statements, directors’ reports, and audited accounts for review and have the authority to approve or disapprove these documents, keeping in mind transparency and compliance with regulatory requirements. The approval process is done through voting.

    Besides approval of financial statements and reports, the shareholders vote on various resolutions proposed by the company during the annual general meeting, like changes to the company’s constitution, the appointment of auditors, executive compensation, and significant business transactions.

Do You Want to Know More About Annual General Meeting?

Catch up with ContactOne today by calling these numbers: +65 6333 0633 and +65 8666 3633. If you reach out today, we can discuss everything you want to know about AGM in Singapore, including how to plan your annual general meeting agenda better. We look forward to hearing from you.