Public Bank Bhd took the top spot in FinanceAsia's Malaysian component of its Asia's Best Managed Companies 2005 Poll.
The banking group fought off stiff competition from Maxis Communications Bhd and Tanjong Plc to secure its first best-managed company award, becoming the only financial sector firm to collect the top prize on a country level.
Other local companies under the Best Managed Company category, were IOI Corp Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT), Malaysia International Shipping Corp Bhd (MISC) and YTL Corp Bhd.
Hong Kong-based FinanceAsia, in its fifth annual poll of over 200 large regional and local institutional investors, equity and fixed income analysts, also ranked Malaysian companies in six other categories - Best Corporate Governance, Best Investor Relations, Most Committed to Strong Dividend Policy, Best Small Cap, Best Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Best IR Representative.
The annual event is sponsored by Singapore-based CFSB SEA.
Its regional coverage managing director Helman Sitohang said: “It was not easy (for companies) to be selected in this event as they were subjected to FinanceAsia's stringent selection process.”
All the winners were generally selected based on their growth performance, sound risk management, sound profit track record, excellent capital management and attractive dividend payout policy, he said at the award presentation ceremony to the winners in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Public Bank managing director Datuk Tay Ah Lek attributed the group's success to the untiring commitment and sterling leadership by founder and chairman Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow as well as contribution from the senior management team and staff.
“It is an honour for Public Bank to be one of the only three Malaysian corporations ranked in all four award categories,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tanjong, one of Malaysia's mainstay corporations, picked up top honours for FinanceAsia's Best Investor Relations.
Its chief financial officer (CFO) Gerard Nathan was voted the Best CFO in Malaysia while Tanjong's investor relations head Shane Guha Thakurta was selected the Best Investor Relations Representative.
Nathan said: “Tanjong's success was mainly due to its strong management team as well as its practice of adopting the highest standards in corporate governance.”
Also emerging with multiple awards was BAT, which in addition to taking home the dividend policy award, continued to tighten its grip on the Best Corporate Governance Title.
Although not as dominating as in last year's poll, BAT continued to lead the pack in terms of transparency and disclosure.
In the best small cap stakes, Top Glove Corp Bhd - the world's largest natural rubber glove manufacturer - emerged the winner from a pool of 900 companies.
Executive chairman Datuk Dr Lim Wee-Chai said: “I am happy and confident that Top Glove's standing in the market will be elevated having attained this small cap award.”
FinanceAsia publishes its flagship magazine FinanceAsia and runs a successful online publication www.financeasia.com.
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