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Keppel and CapitaLand groups sweep corporate governance 'Oscars'

(L-R) Best CEO award winners Kong Chee Min of Centurion Corp, Lim Ee Seng of Frasers Centrepointand William Liem of Tuan Sing Holdings leading the way for the real estate industry.


THE leading lights of the local business scene clinched top honours on Tuesday evening at the prestigious 11th Singapore Corporate Awards (SCA), which honours Singapore-listed companies for excellence in corporate governance.

Also known as the "Oscars" for Singapore-listed companies, the glitzy ceremony at Resorts World Sentosa saw a total of 32 companies and six individuals taking home prizes, with the list of winners this year led by the Keppel group, which swept five awards and the CapitaLand group, which secured three.

Prominent household names OCBC and Singtel both bagged gold for Best Managed Board in the large-cap category, which was for listed companies with at least S$1 billion in market value. The large-cap Best Managed Board bronze went to Global Logistic Properties.

Other real estate industry players also had a good night, dominating the coveted Best Chief Executive Officer (CEO) awards this year.

The Best CEO award for large-caps went to Frasers Centrepoint Ltd's (FCL's) outgoing chief executive officer Lim Ee Seng, who said in a press release on Tuesday that the award "came at a very special point in my career - as I conclude my 12 years at the helm of FCL, and retire after 36 years in the real estate business . . . I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to end my career on a high note and with confidence that I am leaving FCL in very good hands".

Tuan Sing CEO William Liem also picked up the Best CEO prize in the mid-cap category, for firms with market values of S$300 million to less than S$1 billion, while Kong Chee Min of Centurion Corp nabbed the Best CEO prize for small-caps, which covers firms with market values below S$300 million. Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (mid-cap) won two Gold awards for Best Investor Relations and Best Annual Report, and a Silver for Best Managed Board while Keppel Reit (Reits & Business Trusts) and Keppel Corporation (large-cap) bagged a Gold and a Bronze respectively for Best Annual Report. CapitaLand Retail China Trust (Reits & Business Trusts) won a Gold for Best Investor Relations while CapitaLand Ltd (large-cap) clinched a Bronze for Best Investor Relations and Ascott Residence Trust (Reits & Business Trusts) bagged a Bronze for Best Annual Report.

Not to be outdone, City Developments Ltd (CDL) snagged the SCA's inaugural Special Recognition Award, launched this year to recognise outstanding and exemplary conduct related to corporate governance not covered by the other awards.

The group won for its "outstanding leadership and as a role model in pioneering sustainability practices in the building industry", the SCA organisers said. CDL deputy CEO Sherman Kwek noted in a speech at the ceremony that the group began its journey to realign its business and operations with environmental sustainability in 1995 under the leadership of its late deputy chairman Kwek Leng Joo, and said he was committed to carrying on this legacy.

For the Best Chief Financial Officer (CFO) prize, the winners were Tony Mallek from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) in the large-cap category; Loh Kai Keong of Boustead Singapore in the mid-cap category and Tan Kah Ghee of Keong Hong Holdings among small-caps.

SPH CEO Alan Chan said in a statement that Mr Mallek "was instrumental in creating the SPH Reit as well as floating the SPH medium term notes", adding that his "experience and expertise have been instrumental in helping us to create consistent, long-term value for our shareholders and other stakeholders". Mr Mallek, who joined SPH in 2003, said that the award was "an endorsement of the financial and investor relations strategies put in place across the SPH group".

The SCA was co-organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, Singapore Institute of Directors and The Business Times, supported by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Exchange. It was sponsored by Bank Julius Baer with award partners Deloitte; EY; Heidrick & Struggles; KPMG; and PwC. The guest of honour was Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong.