New SGX guide on corporate governance

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is providing more information to companies and investors in a new and comprehensive disclosure guide released yesterday.

It tackles specific principles and gives guidelines on corporate governance in a question-and- answer format.

SGX said firms are being encouraged to include the guide in their annual reports.

This is in line with listed companies being expected to comply with the Code of Corporate Governance 2012. In cases where they do not, they must explain deviations in their annual reports.

Investors can use the guide to review and compare governance practices, so they can better assess how a firm is performing.

Issues covered include whether new directors are given formal training, remuneration for board members, and remuneration for employees who are immediate family members of a director or the chief executive.

SGX said “investors and interested stakeholders can judge whether a company has provided adequate disclosures and meaningful explanations for any deviations from the code”.

It said recent surveys showed that companies were not making meaningful disclosures about remuneration, risk governance, board diversity or sustainability.

Ms June Sim, who heads listing compliance at the exchange, noted yesterday: “Companies with high disclosure standards and sound corporate governance practices will rise above the competition, and benefit from trust and confidence among stakeholders, the outcome of which is a better capital market.”

Mr David Gerald, the chief executive of the Securities Investors Association Singapore, welcomed the guide.

He said: “How companies use SGX’s new disclosure guide will be a key consideration when we evaluate companies for the Singapore Corporate Governance Awards.”

SOURCE

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