Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) has ordered National Hydropower Company to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) within a month.
Public shareholders of the hydropower company have sought the regulator's support to pressurise the company to conduct its AGM which has not been held for the last three years.
"Sebon has directed the company to hold its AGM for fiscal year 2009-10 within mid-April," informed one of the directors of the company elected amongst public shareholders Prakash Rajoria.
Sebon has the authority to order any company to hold their AGM if it deems necessary. In this case too, the regulatory authority can ask the company to comply with the regulation by conducting the AGM itself if the executive board does not comply despite repeated orders and Sebon can also audit the company's balance sheet. The listed companies need to hold their AGM within five months of the end of a fiscal year.
"The company has not held its AGM of the last three fiscal years which has left retail investors in the dark about the financial status of the company," said Rajoria, who is also general secretary of Nepal Stock Investors' Association. Different investor associations had lodged a complaint against the company at Sebon. The company had held its AGM for fiscal year 2007-08 and 2008-09 in 2010 and had pledged six per cent cash dividend which was never realised.
The company's stocks were being traded at as high as Rs 600 during the capital market peak around five years back but now the share prices have plunged to around Rs 45.
National Hydropower Company which is promoted by the NB Group has 13,863,462 unit shares listed at Nepal Stock Exchange with about 10 million units owned by minority shareholders.
The group also owns majority stakes at other listed companies such as Nepal Bangladesh Bank, Nepal Credit and Commerce Bank, Harisiddhi Bricks and Tiles Factory and NB Insurance.