May 14, 2021

The coronavirus forces those listed to activate the telematic channel at its shareholders meetings | Companies

The meetings of large shareholders of the Ibex companies will not be repeated when a handful of listed hold their 2020 meeting in the coming dates. The reason: the progress of the coronavirus. Financial and energy entities have facilitated in recent hours digital channels, although without canceling the act in situ with their shareholders and investors.

Banco Santander, which has reached 2,000 people in the past in the Congress Palace of the Cantabrian capital, advanced on Tuesday to propose that its meeting be completely digital. The entity chaired by Ana Botín issued a statement in which he pointed out that “the safest means to guarantee the exercise of the rights of all shareholders is delegation, voting and remote assistance, that is, without physical presence”.

Banco Sabadell sources say that its shareholders meeting, which will be held at the end of the month in Alicante, still stands: “The celebration is not questioned, but telematic means will be made available to shareholders.” Bankia recommends to its shareholders that they use electronic means of delegation and remote voting and “where appropriate the procedure to exercise the right to information through the website for the exercise of their rights”, avoiding as far as possible physical assistance , indicates through the CNMV.

BBVA communicated yesterday to the superviror that will keep the celebration of its Board as planned. Although the entity explained that “all those shareholders who prefer not to attend and wish to participate exercise their vote or delegation remotely.”

The bank ensures that “the votes and remote representations received before 12 noon on the day prior to the meeting, that is, on March 12 at 12 noon, will be computed in the quorum and in the respective votes. The energy companies also fuel their digital channels but without canceling the physical meeting.

Energy companies

Endesa keeps all options open. “We work to celebrate it on that date,” on March 27, a spokesman says. Shareholders have the right to be present, but in view of the coronavirus, “alternative or complementary measures” such as telematic voting are studied. What is certain is that no executive of the parent company, the Italian Enel, will attend the Endesa meeting, as was usual due to the restrictions imposed on that country.

Days later it will be the turn of Iberdrola, which celebrates its meeting on April 2 at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao. Its shareholders have several options to cast or delegate their vote on the agenda items: internet, telephone, postal mail, depository entities and shareholder service points. Those summoned by the Basque energy company will have for the first time a virtual assistant, in addition to the traditional telephone and email consultation channels.

Siemens Gamesa maintains the call of its ordinary Board. The company affirms that “the best way to ensure that shareholders can safely exercise their rights at the next General Meeting is by prior voting, without attending in person.”

Naturgy’s meeting (March 17) is not in danger either. The company, of course, will recommend following the act on the web and will facilitate the delegation of votes for all its shareholders with the objective of “minimizing their physical presence in the meeting”. In addition, passes to the press and institutional guests are suspended.

The CNMV asks for remote attendance at the meetings and the delegation of the vote

Five days

The National Securities Market Commission issued a note yesterday asking the listed companies to delegate the vote in the general meetings of shareholders in the coming months and limit the presence in person. This is a series of considerations for the sanitary alarm of the coronavirus.

A group of companies that have their board set in the coming weeks, including Aena, received a response from the CNMV, which they asked to make shareholders’ meeting policies more flexible. Ordinary meetings are convened once a year, within the first six months following the close of the previous year. This group of companies intends that, if the obligation of the physical board is lifted, the term may be extended until the impact of the coronavirus remits.


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