Corporate Governance Index, to be launched Tuesday

KUALA LUMPUR: The Corporate Governance (CG) Index, to be launched today, will provide a reliable gauge for investors to rate local public listed firms based on their level of adhering to globally accepted corporate governance standards.

“The companies will be rated based on conformance, performance and engagement,” Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group chief executive officer Rita Benoy Bushon said in a telephone interview yesterday.

MSWG, together with Bursa Malaysia, is launching the CG Index in conjunction with the ongoing Corporate Governance Week, organised for the first time in Malaysia by the exchange and the Securities Commission (SC).

According to a press advisory, MSWG will today sign memoranda of understanding with Nottingham University Business School and National University of Singapore’s Corporate Governance Financial Reporting Centre.

The two universities will help MSWG develop the index methodology.

The index would include all listed companies on Bursa Malaysia, with companies screened by measuring amongst other, their level of compliance to the exchange’s Listing Requirements and the Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance standards.

The top 100 firms would be measured in-depth and will be ranked.

The index, which the first of its kind in the country, is designed to track and identify company that not only comply with the disclosure standards and requirements and are fair and transprent to its stakeholders, but also companies that demonstrate strong financial performance.

The best ranked companies will be awarded at a ceremony planned in December. The Star is the official media partner for the event.

Industry players observed that such a rating would be useful to investors that require companies in which they invest to meet certain standard in terms of corporate governance.

“I would like to commend the MSWG for initiating the Malaysian Corporate Governance Index and Award 2009,” SC chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar said in a her keynote address yesterday at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Malaysia’s Corporate Governance Week.

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