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38 firms scored in latest round of corporate transparency index - Jan 22, 2008 (BT)

BackJan 22, 2008

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

38 firms scored in latest round of corporate transparency index

This issue of the BT-CTI only includes companies that released their results on or before Nov 29, 2007.

By Mak Yuen Teen and Penelope Phoon-Cohen
Jan 22, 2008
The Business Times

THE latest issue of the Business Times Corporate Transparency Index (BT-CTI), conducted in collaboration with the Corporate Governance & Financial Reporting Centre and the ACCA Singapore, scored 35 companies with financial year-ends between July 31, 2007 and Sept 30, 2007.

Three newly listed companies with June year-ends that released their results between Aug 30 and Sept 29 last year have also been included.

This issue of the BT-CTI only includes companies that released their results on or before Nov 29, 2007, which is the 60-day reporting deadline for companies with a September year-end. Companies that release their results after Nov 29 will be scored in the next round.

Thirty-two companies have had their scores updated from last year.

Methodology

The BT-CTI reviews, analyses and scores year-end financial reports filed with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and associated documents, such as press releases, corporate fact sheets and presentations, against a scorecard which is split into two sections: 'content' and 'context'.

The main source of information is that which is released via SGXNet and found on corporate websites.

The 'content' section assesses the quality and quantity of financial information provided, with a maximum score of 60. The 'context' section scores the effectiveness of how the 'content' is communicated to the market, with a maximum score of 40.

Findings

Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust leads the companies scored in this latest round with a total score of 74 points.

Singapore Press Holdings and Fraser and Neave are in second and third place with 71 and 70 points respectively.

Forty-two per cent of the companies scored in this round achieved a total score of 50 or more, while only three scored 70 points or more.

In the content section, Etika International received the highest score of 43 points, followed closely by Cerebos with 42 points.

Asia Pacific Breweries, Ezra Holdings and Singapore Press Holdings scored 40 points each for this section.

Almost all the companies scored in this round received 30 points or more, the pass mark for this section.

A majority of the companies scored well in areas such as the cash flow statement, statement of change in shareholders' equity and segmental information.

Information on future plans, borrowings and risk management practices continue to be areas where there is inadequate disclosure.

Other information

The next edition of the CTI, covering companies with financial year ends from Oct 31, 2007 to Dec 31, 2007, is expected to be published in March/April 2008.

The scorecard can be downloaded from at www.cgfrc.nus.edu.sg and singapore.accaglobal.com/.

» BT Corporate Transparency Index

In the context section, Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust received the maximum score of 40 points. However, 61 per cent of the companies scored less than 20 points.

Twenty-four per cent of the companies released their results on the 60th day from their financial year-end.

Thirty-two per cent took 40 to 50 days to release their results, while 18 per cent announced in advance the release date of their full-year results.

Only six companies disclosed the financial calendar in their annual report or website.

Forty-two per cent of the companies scored in this round either do not have a website or have not updated their websites with the latest financial results.

Companies are encouraged to update their websites at the same time that the information is released to the SGX to ensure that information on their websites is up-to-date.

Associate Professor Mak Yuen Teen is the co-director of the Corporate Governance & Financial Reporting Centre and regional research director for Asia Pacific at Watson Wyatt. Penelope Phoon-Cohen is the head of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Singapore)