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VN firms review annual meeting schedules under pressure of coronavirus

Several companies have put annual shareholders’ meetings on hold due to worries about the spread of coronavirus.

 

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A FPT Retail's store in the outside of Ha Noi. The company has postponed its annual shareholders' meeting on worries about the spread of virus. — Photo vietnambiz.vn

 

FPT Digital Retail Joint Stock Company (FPT Retail, HoSE: FRT) has decided to postpone its annual shareholders’ meeting, which was scheduled for March 20.

The decision was made due to worries about COVID-19, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The meeting would be held at a later date, which had yet to be decided, FPT said.

The Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank, HoSE: EIB) has also postponed its meeting to a later date.

Eximbank’s annual meeting had been set for April 20.

Residential property developer Vinhomes (HoSE: VHM) and digital retailer Mobile World Investment Corporation (Mobile World, HoSE: MWG) have also taken similar measures.

Mobile World said in a statement on Tuesday that the outbreak could prevent its foreign shareholders from travelling.

The delay would protect the rights, benefits and health of shareholders whether they are foreign or Vietnamese, the company said.

Its annual shareholders’ meeting would be held 30 days after the outbreak was declared over, it added.

The meetings would be held by June 30, Mobile World and Vinhomes said.

The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV, HoSE: BID) and Hoang Huy Investment Services Joint Stock Company (HHS, HoSE: HHS) on Saturday held their annual shareholders’ meetings.

Earlier media reports said some companies still wanted to organise their meetings as scheduled.

Companies may consider holding online annual meetings, but not many of them are capable of doing so while some investors do not support the idea.

“The companies I have purchased stakes in plan to hold their annual shareholders’ meetings in late April. They have not decided yet whether the meetings will be postponed or not,” individual investor Tran Hoai Nam told Viet Nam News.

“I hope the warm weather in the South will be ideal for us to attend the meeting,” he said.

“But I don’t agree with the idea of online shareholders’ meetings,” Nam said. “We have to be there to discuss the company’s operations directly, and question the board of directors about business issues.”

“If the outbreak continues in Viet Nam, I would seriously recommend the companies postpone the meetings.”

The pandemic has caused severe damage to Vietnamese companies.

Since the outbreak on January 30, the benchmark VN-Index has lost more than 18 per cent.

Shares of FPT Retail, Mobile World, Eximbank and Vinhomes have shed 3.3-26.6 per cent during that time. — VNS

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