Seminar on international corporate standards set

THE Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has announced that it will be conducting a series of dialogues with market participants in Hong Kong and Singapore this coming April to boost initiatives towards meeting international corporate governance standards.

This latest PSE initiative, which is called the “Special Corporate Governance (CG) Segment Project,” aims to set up mechanism within the exchange to distinguish listed companies that subscribe to higher standards of corporate governance.

PSE said that this mechanism draws inspiration from the Novo Mercado System of BOVEPSA, Brazil wherein listed companies that voluntarily subscribe to higher corporate governance standards are listed on a separate board in that stock exchange.

The dialogues will be led by PSE president and chief executive officer Francis Lim and the exchange’s vice president for corporate governance Jonathan Juan Moreno.

The Hong Kong dialogue is slated for April 1 to 6 while the Singapore meeting will commence on April 15 and run until April 17.

“The objective of the meetings in Hong Kong and Singapore is to discuss the CG Segment concept and solicit recommendations and insights on possible alternatives that would lead to its success. We also intend to draw from our international stakeholders the various issues that affect their decision in investing in the Philippines,” Lim said.

In Hong Kong, the PSE officials will meet with the Asian Corporate Governance Association, financial analysts, and the International Finance Corp. (IFC).

The PSE is also set to hold conference calls with Asian, North American and European fund managers.

In Singapore, the PSE delegation will meet with major fund managers, academic and research institutions, rating agencies, and regional media groups.

Among the participants during the PSE’s working visits to both countries are: Fidelity Investments Management (Hong Kong) Ltd., Fidelity International, Aberdeen Asset Management, Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management (HK) Limited, Manulife, Fitch Ratings Singapore, Standard & Poor’s Singapore, and Moody’s Rating Singapore and Frank Templeton Investments of Dr. Mark Mobius.

The CG Segment Project is funded by a grant from the British Embassy in Manila and partly by the IFC. It was launched in December 2008.

Early this year, Moreno conducted consultation meetings with some listed companies and fund managers to get their initial comments on the project. The feedback has been positive thus far as several entities have expressed their interest in supporting it.

The groups and organizations represented in the consultation meetings committed to participate in future discussions especially in the drafting of the criteria and operating framework for the project.

“Most of the stakeholders we engaged expressed their willingness to partner with us on the different aspects of this project. We were pleasantly surprised with the reaction of the international corporate governance community on the project. They consider it very timely and appropriate, and so they are closely observing this and other PSE CG initiatives with special interest,” Moreno further said.

This project is a major component of the PSE’s Corporate Governance Improvement Plan (CGIP) that was launched soon after the creation of the Corporate Governance Office in 2007. Philippine News Agency


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