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Virtual AGM Rule Extension

Virtual AGM Rule Extension

George Dakis

Red tape relief that allows companies to hold their Annual General Meetings virtually has been extended until 31 March 2022.

This extension, announced by Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also allows companies to sign and share documents electronically.

“This relief ensures that companies can meet their obligations as they continue to deal with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“In particular, the renewed relief will give much-needed certainty to listed and unlisted companies that are expected to hold an annual general meeting later this year and early next year.”

Moore Australia welcomes the news that the regulatory requirements under Corporations Act will be loosen to facilitate this, as well as giving ASIC permanent powers to provide individual or broader relief in future.

“ASIC will be able to provide this relief in circumstances beyond companies’ control, such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Frydenberg said.

This is the second extension of such relief, the first coming in February 2021 which moved the end date from March to September.

At the announcement, Mr Frydenberg indicated the government would seek to make some of these temporary changes permanent.

“With the extension of this temporary relief, the government will now seek to introduce permanent reforms later this year to give companies the flexibility to use technology to hold meetings, such as hybrid meetings, and sign and send documents,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“The government is committed to ensuring that businesses can comply with their regulatory requirements while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and that regulatory settings going forward support Australia’s economic recovery.”