StarHub, CDL join trend of disclosing bosses' pay details

STARHUB and City Developments (CDL) have joined a slowly growing number of firms that are becoming more transparent in disclosing directors' pay.

This is in line with recommendations of the Corporate Governance Code, although the take-up rate remains slow as this level of disclosure is not mandatory.

StarHub, for the first time, divulged details of the pay package of chief executive Tan Tong Hai and other key management staff in its 2014 annual report. It had previously indicated executive remuneration only in bands of $250,000.

The telco - which posted a 10 per cent increase in quarterly net profit to $94.2 million on the back of a 5 per cent rise in revenue to $647.4 million - said Mr Tan took home $3.26 million in total pay, including $1.35 million in share-based compensation. For 2013, his remuneration was $3.18 million.

CDL executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng took home $9.21 million last year - 78 per cent of which comprised variable bonuses and allowances. His remuneration, believed to be among the highest for top executives at listed firms here, was comparable to what he earned in the preceding year - between $9 million and $9.25 million.

The pay cheque of his brother Kwek Leng Joo - the deputy chairman - was $6.72 million last year, lower than in the preceding year when he got between $7.5 million and $7.75 million.

A review of at least 10 Straits Times Index counters shows that firms such as Genting Singapore, Noble Group and Golden Agri-Resources still opt to indicate CEO pay in bands of $250,000 in their annual reports. They said the current level of disclosure was "sufficient", citing competition and the sensitivity of remuneration matters as reasons for keeping details private.

Genting executive chairman Lim Kok Thay took home between $9 million and $9.25 million last year, comparable to his pay package in 2013. Of that, 65.5 per cent came from his salary and 34.1 per cent came from his bonus, while the rest was from a director's fee and a benefits plan. Genting president and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) CEO Tan Hee Teck was paid between $4 million and $4.25 million last year, down from $7 million to $7.25 million in 2013.

Genting's fourth-quarter net profit fell 36 per cent to $89.2 million as revenues slid 8 per cent to $637.9 million. A larger-than-expected bad debt provision of nearly $82 million hit the RWS operator's earnings.

The heads of the two big oil-rig builders, Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Marine, also fared less well as benchmark Brent prices have sunk 50 per cent to US$55 a barrel from the figure last June, though analysts say Keppel's diversified business model suggests higher relative stability. Keppel CEO Loh Chin Hua was given a remuneration package worth $7.25 million last year, while his predecessor Choo Chiau Beng earned $7.66 million in 2013.

At SembMarine, CEO Wong Weng Sun earned $4.32 million last year, down from $4.49 million in 2013. The company’s FY2014 net profit increased 1 per cent to $560 million.

gleong@sph.com.sg