Coronavirus causes companies to postpone AGMs, dividend payments

Bourse says book closure and dividend payment dates have also been deferred

Six companies listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange have postponed their annual general meetings due to the coronavirus outbreak, the bourse said in a statement.

The shareholders’ meetings, usually held during the second and third quarters, have been “deferred in light of the current directives by the government of Uganda restricting public gatherings and public health recommendations aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the USE statement said.

It added that all business conducted at the meetings, including approving the final dividend, has also been postponed. As a result, companies that had communicated book closures and dividend payment dates were advised to adjust those dates too.

The affected companies are Dfcu, NIC Holdings Limited, Bank of Baroda, Umeme Limited, Uganda Clays, and British American Tobacco Uganda.

The stock exchange said it is, in collaboration with the companies, reviewing the situation and government directives “in order to advise on the new timelines within which shareholders will be notified of new AGM dates.”

NIC Holdings Limited recently announced that is it postponing the release of its financials for 2019, initially expected by 30 April, due to the pandemic. The results will be published in June, the company said.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Uganda last month allowed financial institutions to suspend dividend and bonus payments for at least 90 days – from 1 April – to boost their liquidity and as a buffer against the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Three financial institutions are owned by companies listed on the exchange: Dfcu Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Stanbic Bank Uganda.