Coronavirus outbreak: Sebi eases compliance norms for listed firms on AGMs, newspaper ads

New Delhi, Mar 26 () Markets regulator Sebi on Thursday granted more time to listed companies for holding annual general meetings and exempted them from giving advertisements in newspapers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The regulator has been giving relaxation to listed companies and other market intermediaries as part of efforts to ease their compliance burden.

In a circular, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has given a relaxation of one month till September 30 to top 100-listed companies by market capitalisation for holding their annual general meeting (AGM) for 2019-20.

These companies were required to hold their respective AGMs by August 31.

Under the norms, companies are required to hold the AGM within 5 months from the closing of financial year.

In addition, Sebi has exempted companies from publication of advertisement in newspapers about their board meetings, financial results and other events till May 15.

Sebi has noted that some newspapers are not bringing their print versions for a limited period, some that are still printing are not accepting an e-copy of the information to be published, which is a challenge in ensuring compliance with the regulation.

Accordingly, the regulator has decided to exempt publication of advertisement in newspapers as required under the listing norms for all the events scheduled till May 15.

Besides, relaxation has been given by three months till June 30 for holding annual meetings of committees pertaining to nomination and remuneration, stakeholder relationship and risk management.

Further, the deadline has been extended with regard to certificate from practising company secretary on timely issue of share certificates, by one month till May 31.

In a separate circular, Sebi has eased operational procedure for share buyback.

The regulator said merchant bankers and other intermediaries can submit all relevant documents in PDF form through mail to Sebi and also pay the fees online to its account through RTGS or NEFT.

Earlier, Sebi had allowed listed companies to defer disclosure of their fourth quarter earnings by 45 days till June 30. SP HRS
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