AGM Watch: BAT M’sia probed on quantum of losses from illicit cig trade

THE Minority Shareholder Watch Group (MSWG) is probing British American Tobacco (M) Bhd at its forthcoming annual general meeting (AGM) the severity of its profits being affected by the illicit cigarette trade.

In this regard, the shareholder activism group wants to know the estimated losses incurred by the company from the burgeoning illicit cigarettes market in 2020.

This is given enforcement measures taken by the Government to curb the growth of the illicit cigarettes market have been touted as unsuccessful.

“What are some of the measures that the company has proposed to the Government to quell the growth of the illicit cigarettes market?” asked MSWG.

During the tabling of Budget 2021, the Government had said that it would enforce more stringent measures to clamp down on the illicit cigarettes market. The illicit market commanded 63% of Malaysia’s cigarette market share in 2020.

BAT Malaysia will broadcast its virtual AGM from its headquarters at Guoco Tower in Damansara City, Kuala Lumpur at 9.30am on April 22 (Thursday).

Elsewhere, MSWG is also enquiring from United Plantations Bhd the progress in bringing back its 224 guest workers.

For the record, the company had noted that it is pursuing every means – subject to the Government’s approval – to facilitate the return of the said workers to Malaysia but are right now prevented from doing so.

“If the acute labour shortages persist in 2021, what will be the foreseeable extent of crop losses?” asked the shareholder activism group.

United Plantations will stage its 100th AGM at the Boardroom Share Registrars Sdn Bhd in Menara Symphony, Petaling Jaya on April 22 (Thursday) at 10am.

Moving on, MSWG is seeking an explanation from SP Setia Bhd pertaining to the high value of its inventories write down.

This follows the company’s revelation that its Battersea Group of Companies recorded a write down in inventories of RM842 mil in FY2020 (FY2019: RM0).

“What are the measures taken to clear the inventories and how successful the measures are in terms of number and value of inventories sold?” asked the shareholder activism group.

SP Setia will broadcast its virtual meeting from its headquarters in Setia Alam, Shah Alam on April 22 (Thursday) at 10am. – April 16, 2021

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