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SINGAPORE Telecommunications (Singtel) has reclaimed its status as the Republic's most well-governed and transparent company, according to the Governance and Transparency Index (GTI) 2015 released on Tuesday.
The telco edged up from second place last year to clinch the top spot. It had also topped the index from 2009 to 2012. This year, it beat its competitors with an overall score of 118 points.
Singtel was lauded for upholding standards such as engaging professional consulting firms to independently evaluate remuneration packages for its directors and key management and disclosing the detailed policy on payment of dividends.
Singapore Exchange (SGX) followed closely in second spot with 114 points, while Keppel Corporation was ranked third with 112 points. CapitaLand and DBS Group shared the fourth position with 111 points each.
GTI 2015 ranked a total of 639 SGX-listed companies which released their 2014 annual reports by May 31, 2015.
The index, launched in 2009, is jointly published every year by CPA Australia and NUS Business School's Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations, with The Business Times as a media partner.
The GTI 2015 study also found significant overall progress in companies' governance practices, with the mean score increasing from 42.1 in 2014 to 47.6 this year. This is the highest year-on-year improvement since the index's inception.
From next year, companies will be examined under a new framework, the Singapore Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI), given dramatic changes in the business-operating environment in recent years, and stakeholders seeking greater transparency and accountability from companies.
Under SGTI, companies will continue to be assessed on matters relating to board, remuneration, accountability and audit, and transparency and investor relations.
Additional factors such as how they handle a broader range of stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, regulators and the community, will also be taken into account.
The producers of this index will examine existing models of corporate governance assessments across the world in the next few months, and apply the relevant lessons to the index.