SGX wants corporate transparency to include sustainability reporting

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) wants to improve corporate transparency amongst its listed companies, with sustainability reporting on a "comply or explain" basis.

Sustainability reporting effectively expands the coverage of reporting to include environmental and social aspects of businesses. It will complement financial reports to give investors an appreciation of the long-term value of the company.

To get this going, SGX announced on Wednesday that is launching a consultation exercise. The exercise will generate a new listing rule and review the existing Guide to Sustainability Reporting for Listed Companies.

The exercise will begin this month, with a survey of listed companies and a series of focus group engagements to understand the current sustainability reporting practices and readiness of listed companies.

The survey will be available on SGX's "Consultation and Publications" web page by end of this week.

Subsequently, SGX will reach out to institutional investors and sustainability professionals in consideration of reviewing the Guide.

Finally, SGX will seek the views of all stakeholders, including the investing public, via a public consultation.

SGX chief executive Magnus Böcker said: "To do this right, we are open to feedback throughout the exercise as we seek to write new Listing Rules and a Guide that is well understood and beneficial to all users. We believe that greater transparency from listed companies will attract investors and empower them to make more informed decisions."

SGX expects to submit the proposed Listing Rule and reviewed Guide for regulatory approvals by the end of this year. It hopes to implement both components in the 2017 financial year.