Thursday 27 March 2014

Heated questioning at Bursa's AGM

Article on The Edge website:

Bursa AGM: Shareholders question Bursa’s efficiency at long heated meeting

Some snippets:

Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s annual general meeting (AGM) today was longer than expected, with shareholders incessantly raising questions on the operational efficiency of the stock exchange and voicing dissatisfaction on various issues. The meeting, punctuated by some heated questionings, began at 10 am and ended at 1.20 pm today. During the three-hour long AGM, Bursa Chairman and Non-Executive Director Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin bin Haji Abdullah was said to have cut short some issues raised by shareholders, which prompted some infuriated shareholders to storm out. “How can the chairman deny us the opportunity to raise important issues?” a shareholder complained, while talking to

The Board of Directors has to answer questions of the shareholders during an AGM, the only time they can ask questions.

From the above it looks like the journalist of The Edge Malaysia was not allowed in the AGM, why not? I think it should be a completely common practice to allow journalists in, a healthy dose of transparency should do no harm, I would think.

One way to solve this problem is that an organisation like MSWG buys small amounts of shares in all listed companies under several different subsidiaries, and let some journalists (beside their own representative(s) of course) be a proxy for those subsidiaries.

The management of the stock exchange – including CEO Datuk Tajuddin Atan – declined to talk to reporters after the annual general meeting (AGM). But a shareholder told that many shareholders had raised pointed questions and made sharp comments at the AGM. One was that ‘Bursa is not quick enough in response to unusual market activity (UMA)’. “For instance, we see some shares surging all of a sudden without any apparent reason. Is there insider trading involved?” the shareholder said. “We also want to know what Bursa will do and how to curb such activity,” the shareholder added, noting Bursa’s response was that it would investigate any ‘unhealthy activity’. Another shareholder piped in: “The trading practices are not fair to investors. We want it to be simpler and fairer for all investors.” Shareholders were also unhappy over ‘high brokerage fee’ to buy, sell and transfer shares. The minimum brokerage fee to buy or sell shares is RM40, while to transfer shares it cost RM10. “It is painful for retail investors like us when we trade in small volume,” a shareholder said.

I agree that RM 40 minimum brokerage fee is very high when the amount of shares traded is small. The minimum brokerage should be much lower, otherwise the whole idea behind having trading lots of only 100 shares does not make sense.

The above questions do again put the spotlight on Bursa being a monopoly, an exchange, a regulator and a listed company. Too many hats, if one would ask me.



    in the report, it shows that Bursa Malaysia is the exemplary PLC in terms of "rights of shareholders" in Malaysia. It sounds so contradict after the happening of such event. What do you think?

  2. Great, thanks for the link! Now studying it.

    CG is not about what is written (have you ever seen a company claiming they have bad CG?), it is about what is actually done.

  3. having say that the credibility of the rating agency is doubtful as well? As you can see most of the company shortlisted are GLCs, is the report reliable in your opinion? Thanks a lot