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Singtel tops governance index for 5th year, overall score at record high

SINGTEL has topped the general category of the Singapore Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI) for the fifth year running, even as its competition continues to close in. 

In the real estate investment trusts (Reit) and business trusts section, CapitaLand Commercial Trust overtook CapitaLand Mall Trust to lead the rankings there. 

The SGTI, which ranked a total of 578 Singapore-listed companies and 46 trusts that released their annual reports by May 31 this year, saw its average scores rise to record-highs this year. The mean score in its general category increased to 59.3 in 2019, up from 56.3 the previous year, while the mean score in its trusts category increased to 78.6 from 74.5.

In the general category, Singtel's score remained unchanged from the 129 points it achieved in 2018, but its showing was enough for the group to hold onto its top spot. DBS Group Holdings also held onto its No 2 position, while CapitaLand inched ahead of Singapore Exchange (SGX) this year from joint third last year.

The top 10 companies in the general category for 2019 are: 1) Singtel; 2) DBS; 3) CapitaLand; 4) SGX; 5) City Developments; 6) Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), SATS, and Sembcorp Industries (joint ranking); 9) United Overseas Bank (UOB); 10) Singapore Press Holdings.

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The top five trusts are: 1) CapitaLand Commercial Trust; 2) CapitaLand Mall Trust; 3) Ascott Residence Trust; 4) CapitaLand Retail China Trust; 5) Frasers Commercial Trust.

"With disruption being the new normal, corporate governance has to evolve," said Chng Lay Chew, Singapore divisional president at CPA Australia. "Achieving a high level of corporate governance is especially important as the fast-changing business landscape brings many new complexities for boards and management."

The SGTI is published annually by CPA Australia, NUS Business School's Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) and Singapore Institute of Directors (SID). It assesses companies on their corporate governance disclosure and practices, as well as the timeliness, accessibility and transparency of their financial results announcements.

Adrian Chan, SID vice-chairman, said: "We believe that companies have to go beyond pragmatic tokenism and compromise to truly embrace the profound changes occurring around us. And good corporate governance provides the means and the framework to do that."

The full rankings, along with the scoring methodology, can be found on CGIO's website at

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