Reassurance for investors on VSI’s labour practices

It was concluded by PwC that there was no evidence of systemic forced labour practices identified within the company.

PETALING JAYA: The lack of evidence of alleged systemic forced labour practices in VS Industry Bhd’s (VSI) operations is set to provide reassurance to investors.

The company announced last week the summary findings of an independent third-party review of its operations by PwC Consulting over the course of four months from March 2022.

It was concluded by PwC that there was no evidence of systemic forced labour practices identified within the company.

Referring to the positive findings, Maybank Investment Bank Research said: “The outcome of the review will help alleviate investor concerns relating to the group’s labour-associated risks.

“Nevertheless, we are not expecting this to have a substantial impact on the group’s valuation at this juncture, as the stock’s risk premium has risen on account of growing fears of recession.”

Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB Research believes the findings should alleviate some of the social risks plaguing the sector following previous forced labour allegations.

“We believe the audit findings should serve as reassurance for VSI’s existing and prospective clients, as well as investors, regarding the group’s adherence to ethical labour practices.”

With the audit being carried out in a transparent way, the likelihood of potential governance risks is reduced, said CGS-CIMB Research.

The research house said it continues to like VSI for its diversified clientele and as a key beneficiary of manufacturing diversions from brand owners.

There were no major red flags identified and PwC has identified several areas for improvement, primarily relating to recruitment fees, overtime, accommodation and effective communication.

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