BCGA 2018 - Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Best Corporate Governance Awards

 

 

Overview

 

This is the 19th year of the prestigious Best Corporate Governance Awards ("Awards"), which, over the period, have enjoyed strong support from the HKSAR Government, financial market regulators, professional associations, investor groups, and the business community. Since their inception in 2000, the Awards have continued to play an important role in establishing benchmarks and encouraging improvements in the standard of corporate governance CG. They raise awareness of the need for companies to be transparent and accountable to their shareholders, and other stakeholders, and also alert the community to current CG developments in Hong Kong.

  

The Awards focus on voluntary practices and disclosures of relevant information in annual reports that go beyond the minimum legal and regulatory requirements. This year, the organising committee has refined the assessment process, introducing additional initial screening criteria.

 

Other features of the 2018 Awards include:

 

  • We will continue to offer awards in six main categories as well as Commendations for certain more specific aspects of governance, namely (i) internal control and risk management, (ii) board and audit committee operation and functioning, and (iii) website CG information.

    The objective of the Commendations is to encourage more companies and public sector organisations, particular those with more limited resources, to improve their CG practices progressively, if they are not able to make across-the-board improvements all at one time.

 

  • New awards for good CG practices based on self-nominations have been introduced. These are aimed at smaller companies and public sector/ not-for-profit organisations, which are sectors where the Awards Organising Committee believes more effort needs to be made to improve CG. We will invite the relevant entities to write to us to explain the good practices they adopted during the period under review. They may be invited to attend an interview to explain in more detail the changes that they have made.

 

  • The Sustainability and Social Responsibility Reporting ("SSR") Awards, which were introduced in 2011, continue to be an increasingly prominent part of the programme. They focus on what is now commonly referred to as ESG (environmental, social and governance) reporting, which has become more important with the upgrading of the ESG Reporting Guide under the listing rules (Appendix 27 of the Main Board and Appendix 20 of the GEM listing rules) and the extension of the director's report requirements under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) to all listed companies, through changes to the disclosure requirements in Appendix 16 of the Main Board (and Appendix 18 of the GEM) listing rules. This year a more extensive initial screening exercise will be conducted for the SSR Awards, with the aim of identifying a list of SSR candidates for more detailed assessment of their sustainability/ corporate social responsibility reporting, whether in standalone reports or in their annual reports.

 

The Institute regularly reviews and refines the Awards assessment criteria and marking sheets to take account of changes in local regulations, relevant international developments and the changing expectations of the community. 

 

 

Entry Procedure

 
The judging criteria and application process are explained in the brochure inviting entries for the Awards. The submission deadline is 13 August 2018. There is no entry fee.


Awards Categories

The 2018 Awards invites entries from listed companies and public sector/not-for-profit organisations in the following categories:

  

(i)

Hang Seng Index ("HSI")-constituent companies

Non-HSI-constituent companies:

(ii)

- Large market capitalisation

(iii)

- Medium market capitalisation

(iv)

- Small market capitalisation

(v)

H-share companies and other Mainland enterprises

(vi)

Public sector/Not-for-profit organizations

(Categories (ii) – (iv) include main board and GEM companies)

 

In each category, Diamond, Platinum and Gold Awards are available.

  

As indicated above, there are also Commendations for specific aspect of good CG and SSR Awards to be won.

 

The judges may also acknowledge other worthy CG performances with Special Mentions.

 

 

Background

 

Introduced by the Institute in 2000, the Awards are Hong Kong's most well-established, dedicated CG awards. The main objectives of the competition are to encourage and promote good CG disclosures and practices and to acknowledge listed companies and public sector/not-for-profit organisations that exemplify the best CG standards in Hong Kong, as reflected in their annual reports and in other sources.

 

The competition has grown over the past 18 years from a total of three categories and ten possible awards to six main categories and well over 20 possible awards.

 

A category for H-share companies was introduced in 2006, with the aim of establishing benchmarks of good practice for this substantial and expanding group of companies. In 2012, this category was extended to include other large Mainland enterprises, using the "Hang Seng Mainland 100" index as the basis for selection.

 

The non-HSI companies are divided into three separate categories, based on following market capitalisation thresholds as at a cut-off date:

(i) Large market capitalisation (Over HK$36 billion),

(ii) Medium market capitalisation (Above HK$6 billion to HK$36 billion); and

(iii) Small market capitalisation (HK$ $6 billion or less). 

 

The judging process involves carrying out an assessment of the breadth and depth of information on the CG structures, practices and disclosures contained in companies'/ organisations' most recent annual report. The reviewers and judges look for disclosures and practices that significantly exceed the minimum legal and regulatory requirements and which demonstrate a commitment to a strong CG and ethical culture.

 

For the Commendations and SSR Awards, separate, tailor-made evaluation criteria have been developed to assess the extent and quality of information provided by candidates, and what this communicates about their underlying practices and culture.

 

CG-related information on companies'/ organisations' websites may also be taken into account by the judges and reviewers (and, obviously, this is the main source of information for the specific award for Website CG Information), in addition to the material contained in their annual reports or sustainability/ corporate social responsibility reports.

 

Judges and reviewers are invited to take note of other publicly-available information, including media reports, which may give insights into individual companies'/ organisations' CG and ethical practices and culture.

 

The Judges' Reports for the Awards (click on the relevant link below) contain the results and commentaries on the CG performance of the award winners for that year, as well as general observations on the standard of CG among listed companies and public sector organisations in Hong Kong: