Singapore Exchange (SGX) [SGX:SP] is mulling changes to its corporate disclosure rules, including requiring companies to disclose exactly how much their directors and chief executive officers (CEOs) earn, as reported by Bloomberg on September 13. Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), the regulatory department of the bourse, stated that it will solicit market opinions on requiring disclosures for the remuneration of CEOs and directors, following a review by KPMG Singapore indicating that such disclosure remains poor. In addition, SGX RegCo will consult the market on a proposal imposing a nine-year limit on the tenure of independent directors.
KPMG Singapore assessed the remuneration disclosures of 585 companies under the 2018 Code of Corporate Governance, a guideline for Singapore-listed enterprises to follow when composing their annual reports. The assessment indicates that most companies continued to report the remuneration of directors, CEOs, and key management personnel in the form of salary ranges, while only 35% and 18% reported directors and CEO pay in dollar values. Moreover, about half of the companies have independent directors (IDs) serving beyond nine years, disobeying the tenure limit for IDs proposed by the Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC) to promote board independence. Affiliated with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the CGAC advocates good corporate governance practices with no regulatory or enforcement powers. Tan Boon Gin, CEO of SGX RegCo, expressed disappointment at how companies deal with the long-serving IDs matter and the non-transparent remuneration disclosures.