(Singapore, 4 August 2020) Singapore-listed companies charted a new record in governance and transparency this year, reflecting their strong commitment to improving corporate governance and sustainability disclosures, a new report has revealed.

The Singapore Governance and Transparency Index (SGTI) 2020, published annually by CPA Australia, NUS Business School’s Centre for Governance, Institutions, and Organisations (CGIO) and Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), surged to an all-time high score of 67.9 points, compared with 59.3 last year.

Associate Professor Lawrence Loh, Director of CGIO, NUS Business School said: “It is heartening that the assessment process of listed companies for SGTI 2020 was not significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He said the necessary disclosures by companies were largely made well and on time, in line with the Singapore Exchange Regulation’s stipulation.

The annual SGTI assesses companies on their corporate governance disclosure and practices, as well as the timeliness, accessibility, and transparency of their financial results announcements.

This year’s index ranked a total of 577 Singapore-listed companies in the General category, and 45 Trusts in the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and Business Trust category.

These companies and trusts released their annual reports by 30 June 2020.

SATS emerged at the top of the General Category with 131 points. SingTel, which had led the index for five consecutive years, slipped to the second position with 128 points.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust remained top of the REIT and Business Trust Category.

While most of the top 10 saw slight dips in their rankings, SATS, City Developments, and Keppel Corporation improved.

Another company that made notable improvements is SingPost, jumping up 20 places to 12th this year. In the REIT and Business Trust Category, CapitaLand continued its dominance, with its subsidiaries CapitaLand Commercial Trust, CapitaLand Mall Trust, and Ascott Residence Trust in the top three positions.

Netlink NBN Trust, Cromwell European REIT, Manulife US REIT, and OUE Commercial REIT each jumped over 20 spots to enter the top 10.

“On an even brighter note, companies have achieved remarkable progress as seen in the all-time high of the index score – this reflects the strong momentum driven by the ongoing regulation enhancements,” he added.

Mr Chng Lay Chew, Singapore Divisional President, CPA Australia, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a generational crisis currently faced by organizations today and comes on top of global trade and political tensions, technological disruptions, and increasing cyber threats. ”

In times of crisis, strong leadership and sound corporate governance processes are fundamental to a company’s ability to survive and position itself to thrive in the recovery that is to come. Corporate governance frameworks and processes have to adapt, and remain relevant and effective in a COVID-19 new normal, he added.