Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Listing panel lacks investors

In Singapore an eleven man committee is formed to review the listing rules. Its members consists of:

SGX's deputy chief regulatory officer, bankers, lawyers, auditors and corporate services and corporate finance professionals. There is also a representative from the Singapore Institute of Directors.

Not a single representative from institutional or retail investors. But they are the ones who will lose money if governance issues crop up in listed firms, say observers.

From the Business Times article (in full to be found on the Singapore Law website):

Because of this alleged conflict of interest, the rules could, in the end, tip the scales towards lower entry standards and letting more firms list, which could be dangerous for investors, they argue.

In recent years, thousands of investors have lost cash in some S-chips - China companies listed here. These firms were allowed to list here but several of them were later caught up in accounting or governance scandals.

"Most of them (the committee members) will benefit from more listings," said corporate governance expert Mak Yuen Teen, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore.

"I'm not saying they are not people of integrity but it's a fact that most of them will benefit from more listings. Investors' representation is sorely lacking."

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