5 SPH Financial Reporters Win Sias Awards (ST)
GLOBAL economic turmoil could result in weaker demand and stiffer competition, creating a more complex operating environment, Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo said last night.
And in these conditions, good corporate governance could mean the difference between the success and failure of a company's efforts to pursue new growth opportunities, she added.
Retail investors also need to be well equipped for what lies ahead. "On the retail investor front, more can be done to better equip them to understand and interpret financial information," she said.
Mrs Teo was speaking at the Securities Investors Association of Singapore (Sias) awards gala dinner at the Raffles City Convention Centre.
She added: "The media also plays a very important role in improving investor education."
Five journalists from Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH's) stable of newspapers were honoured for their efforts in doing just that, clinching financial journalist awards.
The Business Times (BT) correspondent Lynette Khoo, 28, was named Financial Journalist of the Year, while her colleague, BT journalist Felda Chay, 25, won the Financial Story of the Year Award for a report that highlighted Global Logistic Properties' non-compete clause with United States-based logistics provider ProLogis.
The Investor Education Journalist of the Year Award went to Ms Teh Hooi Ling, a BT senior correspondent.
Meanwhile, the Most Promising Journalist Award was given jointly to BT journalist Joyce Hooi, 26, and Ms Esther Teo, 25, of The Straits Times' Money Desk.
Of her award, Ms Teo said: "It's a privilege to be part of an esteemed group of journalists who have won the Sias awards in the past, and whom I continue to look up to. These are big shoes to fill, and I hope to be able to live up to these expectations."
SPH, which owns The Straits Times, also clinched the runner-up award for Most Transparent Company in the non-electronics manufacturing category. Sembcorp Marine was the winner in that category.
Other blue-chip companies were among the big winners last night. Local conglomerate Fraser and Neave took home the top honours in the Singapore Corporate Governance Award category for mainboard-listed companies.
The awards dinner also saw SingTel taking home the new Internal Audit Excellence Award, a prize honouring Singapore-listed companies with effective internal audit functions that have enhanced corporate governance, risk management and internal controls.
In his speech, Sias president and chief executive David Gerald called on all Singapore-listed companies to have internal auditors, to ensure there is no let up in governance and risk management.
The introduction of the award comes amid the recent spate of local and foreign corporate scandals.
Mr Gerald said: "The importance of an effective internal audit function cannot be overstated.... The knowledge that an effective internal audit function is adequately in place goes a long way in providing comfort to investors and will, no doubt, attract investors to Singapore companies."