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BT journalists win accolades at Sias awards

Angela Tan and Tan Hwee Hwee recognised for their work; SPH bags total 6 awards

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Financial Journalist of the Year Angela Tan (right) with her colleague Tan Hwee Hwee, who was honoured for her coverage of the offshore and marine industry amid the sector's meltdown.

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Singapore Press Holdings winners at the Sias Investors' Choice Awards 2018 at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel on Tuesday. From left: Angela Tan (The Business Times), Wong Kang Wei (Lianhe Zaobao), Tang Ai Wei (Lianhe Zaobao), SPH chief financial officer Chua Hwee Song, Chen Jing (Lianhe Zaobao), and Tan Hwee Hwee (The Business Times).

Singapore

THE Business Times' Angela Tan has topped this year's financial journalism honours at the Securities Investors' Association of Singapore's (Sias) Investors' Choice Awards 2018.

Ms Tan, an 18-year veteran with the financial daily, clinched the Financial Journalist of the Year award. Joining her on stage was colleague Tan Hwee Hwee, who was presented a special award for her in-depth coverage of the troubled offshore and marine industry amid the sector's meltdown.

Senior correspondent Angela Tan said: "The corporate world can be intimidating and complex, especially to an ordinary investor. I believe there must be equitable treatment of all shareholders, including minority shareholders. Everyone should have the right to seek information, voice their opinion and have access to effective redress."

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In her years with BT, Ms Tan has covered a wide spectrum of beats from the macro economy to oil and gas, banking and finance, and telecommunications. She returned to reporting only a year ago, after helming online projects for the paper.

BT news editor Chen Huifen praised Ms Tan's tenacity in getting to the bottom of things that matter to investors and readers, persistently finding ways to get to the truth when official channels close on her.

Among her many noteworthy stories and commentaries during the year was her piece on an error by a financial adviser which could have a bearing on how Vard Holdings shareholders would vote on a takeover and delisting offer. "By highlighting the unhappiness of shareholders over errors in the shareholders' circular, and how some of the EGM procedures were not properly followed, the SGX reviewed the matter and ordered Vard to convene another meeting. It is partly due to her work that shareholders had another chance to vote on the delisting," Ms Chen said.

Just like Ms Angela Tan, BT's Tan Hwee Hwee was another news hound who brought in scoop after scoop as the O&M industry convulsed.

Ms Tan Hwee Hwee said the biggest challenge for a journalist in a sector downturn lies not in unearthing the facts, but in seeking to be fair towards parties sitting at different sides of the table.

She said: "Many describe this downturn as the worst-ever for Singapore's offshore and marine sector. News does not come in ready packages in times of such extreme adversity. Still, there are people who want to be heard and many affected others who hunger for information."

Ms Chen said Ms Tan Hwee Hwee has a deep understanding of the industry which added great insight to her news exclusives, commentaries and news analyses. "She is often the level-headed voice, pointing out the need for a more balanced view of the sector - even when oil prices are rising and the market seems to be taking every bit of company progress as good news." In an era of data journalism, Hwee Hwee also proves that the old school tactics of getting out of the office, talking to people and understanding the subject still matter, Ms Chen added.

All in, journalists from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) bagged five awards at the event on Tuesday evening, which is in its 19th edition this year.

Wong Kang Wei, business correspondent at Lianhe Zaobao, clinched the Most Promising Journalist of the Year Award; Chen Jing and Tang Ai Wei from the Chinese daily also won special awards. From MediaCorp, Channel NewsAsia's Money Mind programme bagged the Investor Education Award.

SPH also clinched a runner-up position for the Singapore Corporate Governance Award in the Diversity category; Chua Hwee Song, chief financial officer, received the award on behalf of the company.

SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung said: "We are proud to be honoured once again for our commitment in upholding good corporate governance, integrity and board diversity. This has helped to sustain investors' confidence in us. We would also like to congratulate our award-winning journalists, whose dedication in delivering insightful news is good testimony of our quality journalism."

On the corporate front, Singtel, Vicom, Sing Investments & Finance and CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) won the Singapore Corporate Governance Award in their respective company categories.

Singtel also won the Shareholder Communication Excellence Award in the big-cap category, Del Monte Pacific topped the mid-cap category, and Micro-Mechanics in the small-cap category. CMT and CapitaLand Retail China Trust shared the award in the Reits and business trust categories.

CapitaLand on Tuesday noted that it scored the most awards at the event - with seven award wins. "This is the third consecutive year the group has emerged the most lauded company at the awards," it said.

CapitaLand shared the Most Transparent Company Award (Properties) with Ascendas India Trust, and was also recognised for its diversity and investor relations efforts, coming in as the runner-up in the Singapore Corporate Governance Award (Diversity) and Shareholder Communication Excellence Award (Big Cap) categories. The other awards were clinched by its Reits.

On the brokerage front, Maybank Kim Eng Securities bagged the Best Retail Broker Award for this year.

In his speech, Sias president and chief executive David Gerald said the association's evolution over the past 19 years has seen its mandate widened and today, directed not only at helping retail shareholders, but also the entire gamut of stakeholders, including companies, institutional investors and bondholders.

"Sias has mediated many proxy fights, shareholder and boardroom disputes including Yellow Pages, DataPulse and Noble. More recently, we have actively participated in the restructuring efforts of distressed companies, including Ezra, Ezion and Hyflux...

"We take into account the interests of all stakeholders because we believe that it is in the best interest of every party - and this includes the capital market as a whole - that everyone contributes to the rescue process to return the companies to a financially more stable footing."

The awards dinner presentation ceremony was attended by 500 guests from the business, academic and investing communities, as well as from the regulatory bodies.

The guest of honour at the event was Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law & Ministry of Health.

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