- The disclosure of the 2019 audited annual financial statements will be extended for an additional period of 45 days.
- The disclosure of the financial statements for the first quarter of this year must be announced together with the second quarter disclosures on June 30.
As part of its efforts to contain the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and to strengthen the package of initiatives it introduced earlier, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) issued a circular to listed joint-stock companies, SCA-licensed companies, and SCA-registered local mutual funds, notifying them of a number of new decisions, including the extension of the period during which the 2019 annual financial statements and the interim financial statements for the first quarter of 2020 are disclosed.
The circular said that since the United Arab Emirates has been keen to implement the highest safety standards, and in line with the instructions of the Ministry of Health to avoid gatherings, a number of decisions were approved ahead of the annual general meetings of public joint-stock companies, including:
- The period during which the audited annual financial statements and reports for the 2019 fiscal year are disclosed will be extended for an additional 45 days maximum, ending on May 14, 2020. The extension will cover all local public joint-stock companies, foreign listed companies, SCA-licensed companies, and SCA-registered local mutual funds.
- Listed local public and private joint-stock companies must release their 2019 audited annual financial statements in conjunction with the publication of the invitation to their annual general meeting.
- Disclosure of the quarterly financial statements ending March 31, 2020, will be postponed until the scheduled disclosure of the interim financial statements ending June 30. The postponement will apply to all local public joint-stock companies, foreign listed companies, SCA-licensed companies, and SCA-registered local mutual funds.
- The provisions of Article 14 of the SCA Board’s Decision No. 2 of 2001 Regulating Trading, Clearing, Settlement, Transfer of Ownership, and Custody of Securities, which ban insider trading until after the 2019 audited annual financial statements and the interim financial statements of the first quarter of 2020 are disclosed, will remain in effect. The article states that: “The chairman and the members of the board of directors of a company, whose Securities are listed on the Market, its general manager, and any of its employees with knowledge of material information, shall not trade, on their own, for their account through a third party, or in any other capacity for another account, in the Securities of the company or those of the mother, subsidiary, sister, or affiliate company, if the Securities of any of these companies are listed on the Market, during the following periods:
a. Ten working days prior to the announcement of any material information,
unless such information was the result of sudden or unforeseen events.
b. Fifteen days prior to the end of the quarterly, semi-annual, or annual financial
period and until the financial statements have been disclosed.
SCA said that any provisions that contradict this circular will be temporarily of no effect, until June 30, whether such provisions were stated in decisions by SCA or in the articles of association of the company. It is worth noting that SCA has introduced a number of initiatives earlier in an effort to contain the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, including a limit down cap of 5% instead of 10%, facilitating share buybacks for listed companies, and approving the electronic voting on the resolutions made at general meetings.