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Tenure limit of independent directors set at 12 years

KUALA LUMPUR: The tenure of an independent director on the boards of Bursa Malaysia-listed companies will be limited to 12 years, according to Bursa Malaysia.

Bursa Malaysia has announced the enhanced requirements in the Main and ACE Market Listing Requirements, aimed at further strengthening board independence, quality and diversity.

In a statement, Bursa said the enhanced Listing Requirements now limits the tenure of an independent director to not more than a cumulative tenure of 12 years in a listed issuer and its group of corporations.

“All long serving independent directors impacted by this enhancement must resign or be re-designated as non-independent directors by June 1, 2023,” it said.

“Another key enhancement is the requirement for listed issuers (PLCs) with a market cap of RM2bil as at Dec 312, 2021, to appoint at least one woman director on their boards by Sept 1, 2022, as announced by the Minister of Finance in his Budget 2022 speech on 29 October 2021.

“For the remaining PLCs, the requirement must be complied with by June 1, 2023, “ Bursa said.

In addition, the exchange also introduced a new rule which requires PLCs to have in place a fit and proper policy that addresses board quality and integrity for the appointment and re-election of directors across the PLC group, which must be published on the PLCs’ websites, starting from July 1, 2022.

PLCs are also required to disclose the application of the PLCs’ fit and proper policy in the nomination and election of their directors in their annual reports, it said.

“The bedrock of a well-functioning and well-governed PLC is an effective and quality board,” chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said.

“These amendments will serve as an impetus for our PLCs to refresh their board composition, with greater focus on board quality, diversity and independence, that will promote board dynamism ultimately,” he said.

Reference