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17 October 2009

Singpore bourse introduces electronic poll voting

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The Singapore Exchange (SGX) yesterday introduced cutting-edge electronic voting to improve transparency at its annual general meetings, reported city-state’s daily the Straits Times.

The electronic poll voting was used for the first time by the bourse operator for all resolutions put forward at its annual general meeting (AGM) Thursday. This is a first for a listed company in the city-state, SGX said.

Under this arrangement, shareholders are given hand-held devices, which can be used to cast votes for or against each resolution.

Because of the electronic element, the votes can be tallied and disclosed to shareholders immediately. Poll voting means that if you have more shares, you will get a bigger say in your vote.

This compares with the traditional practice of a show of hands, or one-person-one-vote, which many listed companies practise at AGMs.

Joyce Fong, the SGX's general counsel and company secretary, said that moving to a vote by poll allows shareholders to cast their votes in direct proportion to their shareholding.

“With an electronic system, votes are recorded instantly with the results being displayed live on-screen,” she said. “This reinforces transparency in the voting process. Full poll voting is another milestone in the development of SGX's corporate governance practices.”

Results of the poll on each of the resolutions put to the vote at yesterday's AGM showed that the number of shares for and against each resolution was clearly spelt out immediately - a rarity for most listed companies in Singapore.


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