CORPORATE governance among the 100 largest companies on the Singapore Exchange improved slightly in 2014, but there is considerable room for improvement, said assessors of the Asean Corporate Governance Scorecard on Thursday.
Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) led the pack for the second straight year, not just in Singapore but also among the other five participating countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the Singapore Institute of Directors and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School's Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO).
The Singapore companies scored an average 70.7 out of a maximum 128 points, with the lowest at 43.9 and the highest at 105.5.
Looking at just basic governance requirements, the Singapore companies scored an average of 67 points out of a possible 100, a modest improvement from the 65.1 points in 2013.
Improvements were made on shareholders' rights, the equitable treatment of shareholders and the role of stakeholders, although disclosure and transparency and the responsibilities of the board were relatively unchanged.
"Singapore companies, as a whole, run the risk of falling behind their Asean counterparts if we do not strengthen our governance performance," said Associate Professor Lawrence Loh of NUS.
The top 10 Singapore companies in the assessment are, in decreasing rank, Singtel, Singapore Exchange, DBS Group Holdings, SMRT Corp, Singapore Press Holdings, CapitaLand, Keppel Land, SIA Engineering Co, OCBC Bank and Keppel Corp.