Overall corporate transparency in Myanmar improves in 2020, report says

While corporate governance and transparency in Myanmar have improved for the private sector this year compared to 2019, conditions at State-Owned Economic Enterprises (SEE) have yet to make similar progress, according to the Pwint Thit Sa Report 2020 issued by the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB).

The aim of the report is to support companies in building good governance and transparency standards and to make them more aware of the importance of sound corporate management and disclosures, said Vicky Bowman, director of the MCRB. The 2020 report, which MCRB says is the most ambitious public report ever published about the state of corporate disclosure in Myanmar, assesses online disclosure on the corporate websites of 260 Myanmar companies, including listed, public, private companies and SEEs. The assessment also includes all banks, to reflect the higher standard of corporate governance required of banks in Myanmar.

Assessments on the corporate profile, corporate governance, sustainability management and reporting and reviews on responsible business activities in Myanmar, anti-corruption, corporate governance and corporate declaration of rules and regulations and policy progress were also included.

This year, the top three Myanmar firms with the highest scores are uab Bank, City Mart Holdings Group (CMHL), and Shwe Taung Group. Other companies scoring highly are Yoma Bank, First Myanmar Investment Public (FMI), Max Myanmar Group, Kanbawza Bank (KBZ), Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings, TMH Telecom Public, and Dagon Group.

Of the 260, 52were public companies, 174 private companies, 28 SEEs and six were firms listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange. A total of 98 firms did not have corporate websites, representing a 12pc improvement from last year. However, even where companies did have websites, many published little or no data relating to the criteria covered in this survey.

While average scores improved in 2020 as a whole, scores for SEEs went from 3pc in 2019 to 2pc in 2020, which is mainly attributable to them not expanding or updating data, while being scored against a more challenging scorecard. The leading SEEs for disclosure are Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation and Myanmar Shipyards, the only two SEEs to score above the overall average mark of 2pc, the report said. “SEEs will need to enhance corporate governance and disclosure under the reforms envisaged by the 2018 Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan and the forthcoming Myanmar Economic Recovery and Reform Plan,” it said. – Translated

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Source: Myanmar Times

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