For a particular individual, there’s allegedly up to S$1.2 mil worth of shares and dividends waiting for him/her in Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX:S68) – Are you that individual?
Why Is SGX Seeking To Give People Shares And Dividends?
Isn’t SGX a profit-driven operation? Why then are they seeking up to 89,000 investors to hand them up to S$68 mil in shares and dividends?
Essentially the money doesn’t belong to SGX – It belongs to some of us.
What Do I Mean By That?
On 26 Nov 2013, SGX made an announcement to seek owners of up to $68 mil in unclaimed shares and dividends.
These unclaimed assets comprised of:
1) $14.6 million of Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX:Z74) shares and dividends belonging to investors without Central Depository (CDP) accounts. The 15,000 individuals who own these shares bought them at $2.00 each in the company’s 1993 IPO. The shares have returned more than twice that amount since.
2) $53.7 million of dividends belonging to investors who cannot be contacted. Each year, thousands of shareholders do not cash their dividend cheques. Unclaimed dividends are returned to the relevant listed companies after six years. Currently, 74,000 investors have yet to claim $53.7 million in dividends which SGX is safe-keeping.
Why Are These Shares And Dividends Left Unclaimed?
One reason would be that investors opted for dividends in cheque instead of having them credited directly into their bank accounts electronically. And more often than not, it resulted in the cheques uncashed by them!
There are also reasons that cheques go uncashed for example investors could have moved, changed address or something went wrong in the physical delivery process. Since it wasn’t mandatory to provide contact information when opening a Central Depository (CDP) account, SGX has found it tough to locate these investors, hence the announcement by SGX.
What Happens To These Unclaimed Dividends?
If unclaimed after six years, it was reportedly stated that these dividends would be returned to the respective companies. Six years’ worth of dividends are no joke!
Value In Action
To find out if you have any of such unclaimed shares and dividends, you can call 6589-8039 or visit www.sgx.com/mygateway! You can even check for your relatives with just their NRIC number! Don’t let your $ just lay around :O
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All views and opinions articulated in the article were expressed in Mun Hong’s personal capacity and do not in any way represent those of his employer and other related entities. Mun Hong does not own any shares in the companies mentioned above.