Soaring unclaimed dividend worrisome – shareholders – Capital Radio Malawi
23 May, 2024

Soaring unclaimed dividend worrisome – shareholders

Harawa: It is a burden to retirees who invested

Listed companies are being compelled to deal with hitches that are still hampering shareholders from claiming their dividends.

It follows observations that many ordinary shareholders are failing to access their payments because of changes of contact details and lack of access to information among others.

Currently there are billions of unclaimed dividends from most of the sixteen listed firms while some enlightened shareholders confess facing challenges to access their payments.

The situation is a burden to retirees who invested by capitalizing these companies but are now suffering at their old age according to secretary general of the Minority Shareholders Association of Listed Companies  Frank Harawa.

He said among others, lack of proper contact details during the time of buying shares and lack of proper efforts of creating a database of shareholders and modern mode of communication.

“I think this has to do with previous systems of certificates and how people bought shares on the stock markets where by then people had no smart phones and no proper addresses which makes it difficult for companies to track them.

So, I think we can update the system and change the means of communication to not rely only on newspapers but should be every means including modern ways like WhatsApp or normal messages and more awareness.

Meanwhile, NICO Holdings managing director Vizenge Kumwenda suggests a collaborative effort from different stakeholders including companies, stockbrokers and transfer secretaries.

“We have learnt that we need to reach out to our shareholders using more channels like email and phone besides publishing names in papers.

But also, the issue of unclaimed dividend involves various parties that if they don’t do their job properly, they cause this problem so, there is need for collaboration amongst transfer secretary stockbrokers and the companies themselves,” Kumwenda said.

Listed companies offer up to 20 percent of their equity to the public through filing at Malawi Stock Exchange.

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