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Singapore firms stepping up corporate governance efforts

Singapore-listed companies are making positive strides in reinforcing good corporate governance, risk management and transparency.

SINGAPORE: Singapore-listed companies are making positive strides in reinforcing good corporate governance, risk management and transparency.

For the 644 companies assessed for the latest 2014 Governance and Transparency Index (jointly published by CPA Australia and NUS Business School's Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations), the mean score was 42.1. This, compared to 38.0 in 2013, makes it the highest year-on-year improvement since the index was launched in 2008. Meanwhile, the median score hit a record of 40, up from 35 last year.

The firms were assessed based on four main criteria: board matters, remuneration, accountability and audit, as well as transparency and investor relations.

The 2014 study is also the first comprehensive review of companies since the revised Code of Corporate Governance came into effect in November 2012 - its findings show that the majority of SGX-listed firms have embraced the new code. For instance, more companies were found to have disclosed the exact remuneration of both executive and non-executive directors, and more now have whistle-blowing policies in place.

Bagging top spot was Keppel Corporation, with an overall score of 116 points, coming ahead of runner-up SingTel (115 points), and third-placed SembCorp Industries (113 points). 

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