Thailand ranked fourth on CG Watch 2010
Bangkok, September 27, 2012 – The Thai capital market holds the third place, following Singapore and Hong Kong, in CG Watch 2012 – a survey on corporate governance of Asian capital markets conducted by the Asian Corporate Governance Association and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets.
Among 11 countries on survey this year, Japan and Malaysia tie at the fourth rank while Thailand has made progress in four out of five categories. They are:
(1) CG Rules and Practice: The assessment showed most listed firms in the Thai capital market met the 60-day deadline for disclosure of annual financial statements while many surveyed markets failed to do so. In addition, the SEC’s strict review on financial statements of listed firms led to orders of special audit or rectification to ensure correct information for the public. Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) continued to stand out in terms of agenda preparation, poll voting, and complete and timely minutes of meetings. Areas for improvement are disclosure of non-financial information, for example, management of discussion and analysis (MD&A), CG statement and CSR report.
(2) Enforcement: Points of positive assessment include the determination of listed firm executives against whom the SEC files a criminal complaint as person of untrustworthy characteristics, active participation of minority shareholders in Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (EGM) via attendance and veto against suspicious connected transactions. The Thai Investors Association (TIA) continued its proactive work in assessing AGMs and representing retail investors. The assessment, however, raised a point of Thai judicial procedure whereby the cases that have reached court conclusion were significantly outnumbered by the SEC’s complaints.
(3) Political and Legal Environment: Equal score to last year’s assessment due, in part, to little progress on regulatory reform over the past two years. In addition, the SEC and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) were advised to enhance user-friendliness and search tools on their websites.
(4) Accounting and Auditing: Thailand faired significantly well in this area thanks to the SEC’s strict supervision on audit quality assurance on par with international standards, including EU and US standards. The SEC has also completed most of its assessment on quality assurance of audit firms in accordance with international standards.
(5) CG Culture: Improved CG culture and environment resulted from work and cooperation of many sectors, for example, the Thai Institute of Directors (IOD)’s ongoing and outstanding director training programs, the Thai Listed Companies Association’s promotion of CG campaigns among listed firms. The most significant progress was the formation of the private sector’s Anti-Corruption Coalition whose long-term efforts are yet to be monitored.
SEC Secretary-General Vorapol Socatiyanurak said: “CG Watch survey is a useful reflection of our strengths and weaknesses for further improvement. It also shows where we stand in relation to our regional peers and what our next goals should be. The third ranking after Singapore and Hong Kong is quite an achievement. This proves active cooperation among all market sectors has paid off. The matter of most urgency, however, is serious collective efforts against corruption among public and private sectors. Meanwhile, the SEC continues to hold educational and experience-sharing activities regarding securities cases with judicial organizations to enhance enforcement efficiency and expects more progress on this area. We are also improving disclosure of web-based information and expect full operation early next year.”
SET President Charamporn Jotikasthira said: “CG promotion of listed firms is our ongoing effort. Our CG Center gives advice to board of directors and executives in addition to other CG campaigns since 2002 and the endorsement of the Institute of Directors (IOD)’s CG Report since 2001. This year, the SET is revising CG rules of 2006 taking into account CG principles of international institutions and ASEAN CG Scorecard, to be used as guideline for listed firms to improve their CG and strengthen their competitiveness in the upcoming Asian Economic Community (AEC). The SET also provides Sustainability Development Report Handbook and training programs to support listed firms in making SD Report in compliance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. We believe CG improvement will promote business sustainability, trustworthiness investor confidence in listed companies.”
Mr. Mongkol Leelatum, President of the Thai Investors Association, said: “TIA is committed to protecting interest of individual investors and render cooperation for capital market development. TIA has assessed AGMs since 2006 to monitor and encourage improvement of AGM quality with positive response and cooperation from listed firms, yielding continued improvement in the area. We also run a volunteer campaign on investors’ rights protection, inspiring investors to voice their opinions and constructive suggestions at AGMs more often.”
Mr. Kasate Chaiwanpen, Director of the Association of Investment Management Companies said: “Good corporate governance is vital, especially when it comes to investment. Our member companies use CG Scoring as a key factor for making investment decisions to earn good and sustainable returns for investors. We also pay serious attention to anti-corruption policies as corruption harms international competitiveness and sustainable growth of Thai businesses.”
Mr. Prateep Tangmatitham, Vice President of the Association of Thai Listed Companies, said: “We encourage listed firms to comply with CG practice and they are doing quite well as shown by their good scores in the CG Practice and CG Culture. Setting clear and suitable CG principles with consent from all parties will encourage participation and mutual understanding of CG principles. We are the information center and coordinator among members. We share information through seminars, workshops and other activities with the Corporate Secretaries Club to promote concrete improvement, for example, the upcoming campaign on the use of ASEAN CG Scorecard.”
Dr. Bandid Nijathaworn, CEO of the Thai Institute of Directors, said: “To promote sustainable CG development, Thailand needs strong CG culture. IOD thus focuses on company directors who lead CG development. As of now, IOD offers 22 training courses that are well received by directors, particularly the Director Certification Program (DCP) and the Director Accreditation Program (DAP), together attended by more than 10,000 directors. IOD also participates in the CG Rating project and joins force with leading private organizations to foster CG culture in the capital market through the Private Sector Anti-Corruption Coalition. Currently, 121 companies have signed the Declaration of Intent to fight corruption and 72 of which are listed companies.”
Mr. Mana Nimitmongkol, Director of the Thai Anti-Corruption Coalition, said: “Our role is to urge the Thai society to seriously join the anti-corruption efforts to create tangible results. Success depends on all parties, thus every organization counts. Thailand does not belong to any particular person. Corruption harms both the rich and the poor, not to mention reputation, trustworthiness and pride of the nation. Together we must share responsibility to fight corruption, using our individual and group knowledge and capabilities.”