Singapore updates its governance principles

Anecdotally, there appears to be a significant increase the number of directors who hold board seats in more than one country.  Two countries where this is evident are Australia and Singapore.  Recently, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has updated its governance guidelines and principles.  While the Singapore guidance in relation to disclosure of remuneration is not quite as transparent as in Hong Kong or Australia, other aspects of the principles are remarkably similar.  In addition, the principles acknowledge and provide explicit guidelines in regard to the extensive family shareholdings and associated conflicts that may arise in listed Singapore companies.

The MAS has accepted the recommendations made by the Singapore Corporate Governance Council (Council) on the Code of Corporate Governance (Code), and issued its revised Code of Corporate Governance.

The key changes to the Code are focused on the areas of director independence, board composition, director training, multiple directorships, alternate directors, remuneration practices and disclosures, risk management, as well as shareholder rights and roles.

Most of the revised Code will take effect in respect of Annual Reports relating to financial years commencing from 1 November 2012.

Principles 7 to 9 of the new code deal with remuneration, disclosure and performance assessment.  See HERE for the new code.

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