SINGAPORE - The CapitaLand group of companies won the most gongs at the Singapore Corporate Awards last night but it was Singtel that arguably stole the show with two big wins.
The telco received a special recognition for exemplary corporate governance, as well as "CEO of the Year" in the large capitalisation category for its chief, Ms Chua Sock Koong.
Ms Chua is the first woman to be named the best chief executive, as well as the first individual to have won both best chief executive and best chief financial officer awards since the Singapore Corporate Awards was first launched in 2005.
With the advent of the digital economy, Ms Chua has been driving a group-wide business transformation from a traditional telco into a communications technology company. This has revamped Singtel's core businesses to stay relevant and competitive, and has seen compelling growth in new enterprise services such as cyber security, said Singtel in a separate release.
"We've made good progress in transforming Singtel into a global communications technology company over the past five years. We've strengthened our competitiveness, and we're also more diversified and resilient," said Ms Chua. "While we still have much to do, this award is a great encouragement to us to push on in our journey."
Singtel was among 30 companies and six people recognised for leading the way in corporate governance and shareholder communication in the awards at Resorts World Convention Centre yesterday
BEST MANAGED BOARD
• Large market value ($1 billion and above): DBS Group Holdings
• Mid market value ($300 million to less than $1 billion): Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation
• Small market value (less than $300 million): Micro-Mechanics (Holdings)
BEST CHIEF EXECUTIVE
• Large market value: Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel
• Mid market value: Mr Mark Julian Wakeford, Indofood Agri Resources
• Small market value: Mr Khoo Boo Hor, Sunningdale Tech
BEST CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
• Large market value: Mr Darren Tan Siew Peng, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation
• Mid market value: Mr Rajesh Chopra, Mewah International Inc.
• Small market value: Ms Foo Ai Huey, Centurion Corporation
BEST INVESTOR RELATIONS
• Large market value: City Developments
• Mid market value: Del Monte Pacific
• Small market value: Micro-Mechanics (Holdings)
• Reits and business trusts: CapitaLand Commercial Trust
BEST ANNUAL REPORT
• Large market value: DBS Group Holdings
• Mid market value: Tuan Sing Holdings
• Small market value: Megachem
• Reits and business trusts: Frasers Commercial Trust
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
•Note: All market values as at Dec 31, 2016
The awards, in their 12th year, were organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (Isca), Singapore Institute of Directors and The Business Times, with the support of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and Singapore Exchange (SGX). They aim to recognise and promote excellence in corporate governance among listed companies here.
In all, nine companies received awards for the high quality of corporate governance in their board practices, 14 firms were recognised for excellence in their investor relations and 13 were commended for the high standards of disclosure in their financial reporting.
The CapitaLand group of companies was the top winner as it took home a total of four awards. CapitaLand Commercial Trust won a gold award for its investor relations and a bronze for best annual report, while CapitaLand clinched a silver for the best managed board award. CapitaLand Mall Trust won a silver for the best annual report award.
Other firms that also bagged multiple awards were DBS Group Holdings, the Frasers group of companies, the Keppel group of companies, Sembcorp Industries, Banyan Tree Holdings, Centurion, Del Monte Pacific, Micro-Mechanics (Holdings) and Tuan Sing Holdings.
"With SGX's introduction of sustainability reporting on a comply-or-explain basis last year, companies are now required to report not just their financial performance but also their sustainability practices within the context of environmental, social and governance," noted Isca president, Dr Gerard Ee.
"This raises the bar on corporate governance in Singapore, in line with stakeholders' expectations for greater transparency and accountability," he added.
Mr Wong Wei Kong, co-chairman of the Singapore Corporate Awards and Business Times editor, said: "With greater requirements for disclosure from SGX and Monetary Authority of Singapore, companies may be tempted to go through the motion of simply ticking the boxes.
"However, we would strongly urge companies not only to fulfil the letter but also the spirit of the law. To take liberty with a quote from Professor Aaron Levenstein, 'Corporate disclosures are like bikinis - what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.' We look forward to the day that stakeholders would not have to second guess or read between the lines of corporate disclosures."