Posts Tagged 'Singapore'

Branding corporate governance


It is unfortunate that not many companies capitalise on their strong corporate governance practices even though the latter should be an integral part of their overall strategy of branding and positioning.

This observation was made by John Lim at the recent launch of the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard 2014 results. Mr Lim, who is Singapore’s nominated corporate governance expert to the ASEAN Scorecard expert group, said: “Many of the Singaporean companies have not scored as well as they should as they did not fully disclose their corporate governance practices. Corporate governance is like justice, it must not only be done but also be seen to be done; hence the need for good and full disclosure.”

This lack of disclosure by companies of even their laudable attributes could be one of the reasons why SGX– listed shares are under-appreciated. Currently, around half of listed companies are trading at, or below, book value.

Listed companies, especially, need to play their part in attracting the attention of investors. They need to be more focused on communicating and branding their key assets, one of which could be their corporate governance practices.

Branding is about delivering on a promise, and doing so consistently. Most directors understand the need to market their company’s products and services, and the important role that brand values play in securing and keeping customers.

What companies need to do more is to apply this thinking to their shares.

If the company’s shares are a product and investors are the customers, what is the brand value that the company stands by? What is it that the directors and management want the shares to be known for in the market? What will keep investors buying the shares, or holding onto them for a long time? Read more here.

Firms should go beyond legal compliance to raise corporate governance bar: SIAS

by Dylan Loh for Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: Mere legal compliance is not enough if corporate governance standards in the country are to be raised, said the Securities Investors Association of Singapore (SIAS) on Monday (Oct 27).

Speaking at the Singapore Corporate Governance Week’s opening, SIAS Chairman Lim Hwee Hua noted an Asian Development Bank report that highlighted areas local firms can do better in.

For one, it pointed out that Singapore companies can further improve the level of disclosure in Annual General Meeting materials. This applied to more comprehensive documentation of proceedings to better communicate with shareholders as well. Read more here.

Hong Kong Beats Singapore in Corporate Governance Survey

by Siddharth Philip for Bloomberg

Corporate governance in Singapore deteriorated in the past two years amid slowing reforms on the subject, dipping below the perceived strength of Hong Kong for the first time since 2007, according to a survey.

Hong Kong scored the highest in Asia Pacific this year with 65, followed by Singapore’s 64, though both were tied for first in the rankings because of the minimal difference in the results, according to a joint report by CLSA Ltd. and the Asian Corporate Governance Association. Japan passed Thailand for third, while the Philippines and Indonesia ranked last. Read more here.

SINGAPORE : The Gap is Widening in Corporate Governance between strong performers and companies with weak policies.


By Desmond Wong, for Channel News Asia, April 16, 2010

The 2009 Governance and Transparency Index (GTI) showed that while top firms achieved high scores, many of the 680 Singapore listed firms rated did not improve.  The GTI award, now into its second year, honours Singapore firms with excellent corporate governance practices.

Average score for 2009 came in at 33 points, 1 point shy of the previous year’s score.

The report also showed that the gap is widening between those with good practices, like SingTel which scored 103, and those without.

“As a result of the financial crisis, we see companies getting into financial difficulties, auditors raising red flags, and fraud issues. So you see the bottom few companies… impacted by some of this fraud, directors raising concerns and so on. Hence the gap has widened,” said Chaly Mah Chee Keong, president of CPA Australia,  Singapore Division.

Among the common poor practices were long tenures for independent directors, directors sitting on too many boards, and the issue of share options to independent directors.

While many of the lower scoring firms this year were small in size, organisers said size and financial muscle do not necessarily guarantee good corporate governance. So, small firms can still achieve high standards.

“There are ways that they can do well on the index. For issues like disclosure of risk, you may find that a smaller company may not have the same comprehensive framework for managing risks like the larger companies, like SingTel and so on. But nevertheless, risk management is just as important for the smaller companies. And they may do it somewhat differently,” said Assoc Professor Mak Yuen Teen at NUS Business School… (continue reading)

SMEs should start corporate governance process early: SGX chairman

by May Wong, for Channel New Asia, March 19, 2010.

SINGAPORE: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should start their corporate governance process early and the business chambers should help them, according to Singapore Exchange chairman J Y Pillay.

Mr Pillay was speaking at an event organised by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

SMEs often lack resources for a comprehensive corporate governance system. But Mr Pillay said if they have good governance in place, they can adapt and evolve best practices for their business needs.

He said: “Sound governance should not be perceived as an undesirable accompaniment of corporatisation and globalisation, a chore to be fulfilled for form’s sake. It is a pre-requisite to continued growth and successful integration into a globalised world.”

Participants at the event agreed that business chambers can help SMEs with sound governance.

Seow Choke Meng, chairman, Research & Publications Committee, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry said: “It is good always to start this early. When you really list it, or establish a big company, it is all in place and it can take you on to much further heights.

“Chamber is in full agreement and Chamber will look at how we can help our SME members to acquire these practices.”

Lui Seng Fatt, lead, independent director, Ying Li International Real Estate said: “As an SME, if you have an aspiration to grow into a larger company, (if) you want to go beyond Singapore, (if) you want to go into the market to raise funds, I think you have to start very early on the corporate governance…(continue reading)

MAS proposes measures to improve corporate governance framework

by May Wong, for Channel New Asia, March 18, 2010.

SINGAPORE : The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed measures to improve corporate governance at local banks and insurers.

The proposals stress the importance of the board’s role and the need for directors to have the right skills.

MAS is calling for public feedback on its proposals by April 19.

The economic crisis has raised the need for stronger corporate governance.

Now, the MAS is proposing 12 measures to ensure more independence and expertise at the board level.

One proposal is to consider directors non-independent if they have served nine years continuously on the board.

Associate Professor Mak Yuen Teen from NUS Business School said this is a good move because “over time, once directors serve there for too long, they tend to become too close to management, to the company.

“And the other thing about serving too long is that after a while, you get ‘stale’, you look at the same thing over and over again…and therefore, I think renewal is extremely important, and it is something not only financial institutions, but all boards should be looking at.”

Another proposal is for financial institutions (FIs) to have a dedicated Board Risk Management Committee…(continue reading)

Monetary Authority Of Singapore Announces Composition Of The Corporate Governance Council

by Mondo Visione, February 4, 2010.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced today the composition of the newly established Corporate Governance Council.

2. The Council will be chaired by Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Members of the Council are drawn from the business community and stakeholder groups, and have been appointed for a two-year term from 1 February 2010 (see Annex for a list of the members). Representatives from MAS, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) will be appointed to the Council on an ex-officio basis. The Council may draw on the assistance of other individuals in the course of its work.

3. The Council seeks to promote a high standard of corporate governance in companies listed in Singapore, so as to maintain investors’ confidence and enhance Singapore’s reputation as a leading and trusted international financial centre. The Council will also play an advisory role to MAS, ACRA and SGX on matters relating to corporate governance, such as the Code of Corporate Governance and relevant rules and regulations pertaining to companies listed in Singapore. The Council will also identify opportunities for continuing professional development of directors and the development of practical guidance for Board committees of listed companies…(continue reading)

Blog coordinator

Cefeidas Group



free counters