Sias head: Some way to go on company disclosure

SINGAPORE - The recent saga of three penny stocks whiplashed by wild price swings shows that more needs to be done to improve company disclosure, said the president of the Securities Investors Association of Singapore (Sias) on Friday.

Mr David Gerald told a gathering that while standards of corporate governance have improved, more could be done. One suggestion involves imposing fines on companies that break listing rules.

He also said listed companies should be required to clearly state recent queries by the Singapore Exchange when making announcements about acquisitions and disposals to shareholders. He was speaking at the presentation of the Sias Investors' Choice Awards, which recognise best practices in corporate governance and transparency, at Resorts World Convention Centre.

Singapore Press Holdings received the most transparent company award in the services category, the 10th straight year the media firm has won the honour.

SPH chief executive Alan Chan said: "Winning this award for 10 consecutive years is a testament to the investment community's confidence in the board, management and staff of SPH."

The award, which recognises a firm's efforts in improving transparency, was judged by a committee of senior financial journalists, analysts, brokers, fund managers and Sias.

Other winners included

Sembcorp Marine in the oil and gas category, CapitaLand in the real estate segment and Cordlife Group for retail and household goods. CapitaLand also won the Golden Circle Award - given to the overall most transparent company across industry sectors - for the second consecutive year.

Mr Lim Ming Yan, its president and group chief executive, said: "We want to be transparent with our stakeholders so that we can build a lasting relationship with them."

Other honours included the Singapore corporate governance award, which went to DBS Group Holdings in the big-cap category. Among mid-cap companies, Keppel Telecommunications and Transportation came out tops, while InnoTek won among small-cap companies.

CapitaMall Trust clinched the Reits and business trusts category; SingTel was honoured for internal audit excellence; while the best retail broker prize went to Maybank Kim Eng Securities.

The Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Josephine Teo, was the event's guest of honour.