Sebi allows virtual annual meetings for InvITs, REITs till end of Dec

Markets regulator Sebi on Friday allowed Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to conduct annual meetings of their unitholders and other meetings through video-conferencing and other audio-visual means till the end of December. The circular came after Sebi received representations from REITs/InvITs to further extend the facility to conduct annual meetings and other meetings of unitholders through Video-Conferencing (VC) or through Other Audio-Visual Means (OAVM).

Besides, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), last month, extended the facility of holding AGMs and EGMs through VC/OAVM till December 31, 2022.

“Accordingly, it has been decided to extend the facility to conduct annual meetings of unitholders in terms… of Sebi (REIT) Regulation…Sebi (InvIT) Regulations… and meetings other than annual meeting, through VC or OAVM till December 31, 2022,” the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a circular.

For conducting such meetings, they need to comply with the procedure prescribed by the regulator.

Among other requirements, recorded transcripts of the meetings held through VC or OAVM should be maintained in the safe custody of the investment managers of InvIT or managers of the REIT.

Also, InvITs and REITs are required to upload the transcripts on their respective websites as soon as possible after the conclusion of the meetings.

In addition, the convenience of different persons positioned in different time zones need to be kept in mind before scheduling the meeting. Before the actual date of the meeting, the facility of remote e-voting needs to be provided, among others, as per Sebi.

REITs and InvITs are relatively new investment instruments in the Indian context but are extremely popular in the global markets.

While a REIT comprises a portfolio of commercial real assets, a major portion of which is already leased out, InvITs comprise a portfolio of infrastructure assets such as highways and power transmission assets

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