Bursa Malaysia Bhd was ranked first for overall corporate governance and performance for demonstrating high standards of corporate governance while maintaining a good financial performance, according to the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) at the MSWG-Asean Corporate Governance Recognition 2017 awards yesterday.

Petronas Dagangan Bhd came in second, followed by LPI Capital Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd, all of which made the top five companies recognised at the event.

Axiata Group Bhd chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar was named “Chairman of the Year”, while Bursa Malaysia’s Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan took home the “CEO of the Year” award.

The event, organised by MSWG, identified the Top 100 Malaysian public listed companies (PLCs) based on disclosures from some 900 companies the group assessed this year, using a scorecard methodology based on the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) principles of corporate governance as a benchmark.

The top winners had to have achieved a return on equity (ROE) of not less than 3% for the last three years.

According to MSWG, its assessment of the Top 100 PLCs showed that the average corporate governance score has consistently trended upwards, from 68.20 points in 2012 to 85.02 in 2016, and now 86.18 this year. This, it said, was an indication of the consistent and greater efforts taken by PLCs in improving their corporate governance practices and disclosures.

It also reflects positively on the leadership of Malaysian PLCs in terms of their commitment to continuously raise their corporate governance bar, which will contribute towards increased confidence among investors in the local capital market, MSWG said.

“Good corporate governance reflects the quality of our capital market, particularly in the eyes of the international community,” said MSWG chairman Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob in his welcome address at the event.

“Within the institutional investors fraternity, we are pleased to observe that the institutional investors themselves, too, are now more transparent in disclosing their stewardship responsibilities and voting guidelines, thus showing leadership by example and influencing good governance practices not only in the investee companies but also throughout the investment chain,” Sulaiman added.

Also present at the event was Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz.

He highlighted that the country has been experiencing good economic growth, following the “excellent” third quarter economic growth of 6.2% seen, which was better than the 5.8% recorded in the second quarter of this year, after the 5.6% recorded in the first quarter.

“Malaysia has always embraced global business and it is my sincere belief that in order to offer a viable and attractive market to the world, our companies must be well-governed and efficient,” Othman said in his keynote address.

Source: The Edge