The final two weeks of June are a busy time for companies whose fiscal year concludes at the end of March, as their annual shareholder meetings are normally held during this time. What happens at such meetings is closely watched, particularly at firms where management proposals are being debated, such as the acquisition of Shire PLC by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and the proposed merger of Idemitsu Kosan Co. with Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.

The way shareholder meetings are conducted has evolved since corporate governance and stewardship codes were put in place. Greater transparency and the “comply or explain” principle is required. Companies have attempted to make their meetings more open and transparent. For example, the dates of shareholder meeting are distributed more now than when the meetings of many major corporations were held on the same day. Some companies hold their meeting on weekends so more shareholders can attend.

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