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If Transfer Agents need the names of the beneficiary share holders (e.g. for corporate actions / book closure), how do they get this data - from the stock exchange (or) Central Custodian (or) bank custodians/brokers who are depositary agents? Do they have to pay a fees for this? I am particularly interested in Hong Kong and Singapore market practices in this regard.

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In the United States, the stock certificate is updated to include beneficiary information. I expect it to be similar with other markets.

TOD (Transfer on Death) From: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/avoid-probate-book/chapter3-2.html (emphasis added)

If you have a brokerage account, contact the broker for instructions. Most likely, the broker will send you a form on which you’ll name beneficiaries to inherit your account. From then on, the account will be listed in your name, with the beneficiary’s name after it, like this: “Evelyn M. Meyers, TOD Jason Meyers.”

If you have the actual stock certificates or bonds in your possession (most people don’t), you must get new certificates issued, showing that you now own the stock in beneficiary form. Ask your broker for help; if that doesn’t work, contact the transfer agent for the stock. You can get the address from your broker or the investor relations office of the corporation. The transfer agent will probably have you send in the certificates, a form called a stock or bond power (some stock certificates have the power printed on the back), and a letter explaining what you want to do.

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