The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants invites companies and organizations in the private and public sectors to submit entries for Best Corporate Governance Awards 2017, a highly regarded event on the corporate governance scene in Hong Kong.
The Awards play an important role in establishing benchmarks and encouraging improvements in the quality of corporate governance in the Hong Kong market. The deadline for entries is 14 August 2017.
New category introduced
The Awards are now in their 18th year and they continue to progress and develop just as the market itself continues to evolve. This year a new category within the broad group of Non-Hang Seng Index-constituent companies has been introduced for medium market capitalization companies.
“We hope that when companies see that they are being assessed against their peers, this will give them greater incentive to take steps to raise their corporate governance standard,” says Mabel Chan, President of HKICPA and Chair of Judging Panel for 2017 Awards.
“Good governance practices can help them achieve their long-term strategic objectives and protect the interests of shareholders and stakeholders.”
Needs to remain vigilant and maintain standards
The recent market activity and volatility in Hong Kong highlighted the importance to the market and the reputation of the market of sound governance, and the pitfalls and risks for investors if they do not give sufficient weight to this facet of a company's performance.
Maintaining high standards of corporate governance is vital to safeguard the public interest and sustain a healthy business environment for market development.
While Hong Kong has one of the highest standards in the region, we cannot afford to be complacent, says Chan. "Many other markets are making concerted efforts to strengthen their own corporate governance regimes and are looking to increase the size of their capital markets and their share of investment business."
In some areas they may be progressing faster than Hong Kong. This underlines the need for strong governance, not only in the private sector but the public sector. Hong Kong should always keep one eye on monitoring developments elsewhere and ensure that it continues to adopt best practices in terms of market developments and regulation.
Governance culture supports HK's development as a financial center
Recently, a number of developments have taken place that have helped boost Hong Kong's position as a financial center and China's window on the world for financial market trading. The Shanghai and Shenzhen Bond Connect, initiatives have facilitated market trading between Hong Kong and Stock Connects and, very recently, the Mainland China.
Hong Kong has also joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. These developments highlight Hong Kong' essential role in international and regional finance. At the same time they remind us of the qualities and characteristics that have made Hong Kong a success and which we must preserve.
The high standards of governance and of the legal and regulatory systems are key reasons that foreign investors are confident to invest in the Mainland market through Hong Kong and the Stock and Bond Connects.
This calls for strong corporate governance and effective market regulation, which in turn provide more predictability and a better basis for decision making by investors.