As a reaction to the current COVID 19 pandemic situation and the prohibition of assemblies of any type, the Austrian Government has changed the framework for holding of AGMs. According to the new law, virtual AGMs are also possible. This, however is an additional option and not a mandatory change. Furthermore, the period after the end of business year within which an issuer has to hold the general meeting was extended from eight to twelve months. Both of these changes overrule any divergent specifications in the by-laws of the issuers.
Currently the changes are under review by the Ministry of Justice which has gathered qualified feedback, requests and requirements from the market participants and is now reviewing them in order to assess the impacts and define the implementing regulations in details. As soon as this review period is concluded, the Ministry will issue the details on how AGMs could be held virtually, going forward.
Thus, currently the change in the legal framework does not have an immediate effect on the upcoming AGMs and the possible impacts and changes cannot be analyzed by the custodian community yet.
Impact on investors: UCBA will closely monitor any incoming news on this topic and will inform clients as soon as the amended procedure for AGMs are further clarified.