Keppel Corp tops ranking of transparent and well-governed companies

SINGAPORE - Keppel Corporation has topped an annual ranking of Singapore's best-governed and most transparent companies for the first time, narrowly pipping SingTel and SembCorp Industries.

The conglomerate fared well across several measures of the Governance and Transparency Index, which is jointly published by CPA Australia and NUS Business School's Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations.

For instance, Keppel revealed details on the process by which it appointed its new chief executive officer (CEO) - including the criteria for CEO succession - in its annual report.

"Singapore-listed companies are making positive strides in reinforcing the values of good corporate governance, risk management and transparency, which are at the core of financial infrastructure," said Associate Professor Themin Suwardy, Singapore Divisional President at CPA Australia, which has sponsored the study since its inception in 2009.

"While there is for improvement among listed companies in the broader market, it is clear that well-governed entities create sustainable value for organisations and are trusted by investors big and small."

The index ranked 644 companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) that released their 2013 annual reports before May 31 this year.

It found that most SGX-listed companies are adhering to the new Code of Corporate Governance that came into effect in November 2012.

More companies are now disclosing the exact remuneration of both executive and non-executive directors, and more also have whistle-blowing policies in place and are implementing voting by poll during annual general meetings.