MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore lags Thailand in corporate disclosure practices

But companies’ disclosure rates improved from 47% to 55% in just two years.

Singapore lagged Thailand in terms of corporate disclosure of anti-corruption practices in the ASEAN, a joint study by the ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) revealed.

Singapore had a disclosure rate of 55% (up from 47% in 2016), whilst Thailand maintained its two-year lead with a disclosure rate of 67% (up from 57% in 2016). The top 50 companies of five ASEAN countries Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia were assessed using 13 questions.

The study found that amongst ASEAN countries, Singapore had the lowest disclosure rates in terms of commitment to comply with laws (94%), having the code applied to all employees and directors (85%), and gifts, hospitality, and travel policies (60%).

Meanwhile, Singapore had the highest disclosure rates for company codes being applied to suppliers (29%), the prohibition of facilitation payments (34%), and each company’s confidential reporting channel (75%).

Moreover, the companies in Singapore which were amongst the top 11 companies across the five ASEAN countries with the highest level of disclosure included Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), Sembcorp Industries, SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC), Singapore Airlines (SIA), and Singtel.

Overall, corporate disclosure of anti-corruption practices has improved over the past two years, but there are still concerns over a lack of safeguards regarding external relationships with agents and suppliers. The average score across the five ASEAN countries is at 56%, a major improvement from 45% in 2016.

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