Singapore council seeks feedback on governance code

by BLOOMBERG

SINGAPOREIn an attempt to boost investor confidence in Singapore’s capital markets and support innovation, a council formed by the city-state’s central bank released a consultation paper yesterday revising its recommendations for corporate governance.

The Code of Corporate Governance — which was last reviewed in 2012 — is focused on strengthening efficiencies at the board level of corporations by enhancing diversity and encouraging board renewals, according to a statement released by the Corporate Governance Council (CGC). It will also boost Singapore’s appeal as an international investment destination.

“The streamlined code is shorter and concise,” said CGC’s chairman Chew Choon Seng, who was previously chairperson for Singapore Exchange Ltd. It seeks to encourage companies to move away from a compliance mindset and adopt thoughtful corporate governance practices, he added.

The council has asked interested parties to submit their feedback by March 15 and has also recommended the establishment of an industry-led advisory committee to oversee corporate governance. The changes are expected to be introduced within the second half of this year.

Some of the proposed changes include: Strengthen director independence by lowering shareholder threshold to 5% from 10%, enhance board composition and diversity by disclosing corporate policy and progress made on that front, and have transparent remuneration practices. — Bloomberg