Monday, 26 April 2010

Ayala, Lopez firms rank tops in corporate governance

Miguel R. Camus
Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24515:ayala-lopez-firms-rank-tops-in-corporate-governance&catid=24:companies&Itemid=59

LISTED firms under the Ayala and Lopez groups continued to dominate the top slots in the 2009 Corporate Governance (CG) scorecard, organized every year by an association of professional company directors.

In a statement, the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) released a list of 30 top-ranking public companies, double the number in 2008.

In a phone interview, ICD executive director Marlon R. Marquez said more firms took the CG scorecard last year or 214 listed firms, from 169 in 2008.

The Philippine Stock Exchange has 250 publicly listed companies.  

The list included Ayala Corp., Ayala land Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Cebu Holdings Inc., Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp., Energy Development Corp., First Gen Corp., First Philippine Holdings Corp., Globe Telecom Inc., Manila Water Co. Inc. and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

Companies that managed to score between 90 percent to 94 percent include: Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Aboitiz Power Corp., Aboitiz Transport System Corp., ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., Alaska Milk Corp., Benpres Holdings Corp., Centro Escolar University, China Banking Corp., GMA Network Inc., Highlands Prime Inc., Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines Corp., Petron Corp., Philippine Savings Bank, Security Bank Corp., Semirara Mining Corp., SM Development Corp., SM Investments Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Union Bank of the Philippines Inc.

“We are very happy with the results as they show continued improvement in compliance and corporate governance practices among our listed companies,” said Jesus Estanislao, ICD chairman, in a statement.

Estanislao called on companies to go beyond “mere compliance.

“On this end, the ICD is now working with select CG top-ranked companies on a corporate governance improvement pathway, cultivating a real governance culture within their organizations through a Performance Governance System,” he said.

Last year, ICD expanded the project and launched separate scorecards for banks, government-owned and controlled corporations/government financial institutions and insurance companies. 

Now on its fifth year, the CG Scorecard project is jointly administered with ICD’s partners,  namely: the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Institute of Internal Auditors of the Philippines, the Ateneo Law School and the Center for International Private Enterprise.

ICD grades firms based on disclosure and transparency (25 percent), board responsibilities (25 percent), rights of shareholders (20 percent), equitable treatment of shareholders (20 percent) and role of stakeholders (10 percent).

The companies are allowed to use a template survey to conduct a self-assessment, which will be reviewed by a team from the Ateneo Law School and then a third validator, before going through analysis then ranking.

In 2009, 11 firms scored 95 percent and above.

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