Asia's best companies 2004
Larger Asian companies have seen the benefits from improving their governance in investment and foreign expansion. Now smaller companies are also recognizing the advantages of compliance with international standards and starting to shine in our annual best Asian companies poll.
MALAYSIAN COMPANIES PERFORMED strongly across several industry sectors and other categories in Euromoney's 2004 best Asian companies poll. IOI Corporation topped the overall poll, with Malaysia's Public Bank, Astro All Asia Network and Tanjong all in the top 10. "It is a valid argument to say that there has been a definite improvement in the overall corporate governance environment in Malaysia over the last couple of years," says Jamie Allen, secretary general of the Asian Corporate Governance Association (Acga).
According to CG Watch 2004, an annual Asian corporate governance survey conducted by stockbroker CLSA and Acga, Malaysia has moved up to fourth position in the region, up two places on last year. Improvement in the country's accounting standards is well ahead of the international accounting-standards scores achieved by most other countries in the survey. "But these improvements came off a fairly low base and there remain weaknesses in some corporate governance rules, problems in enforcement and the regulatory/legal structure, and ongoing doubts about the depth of the country's corporate governance culture," he adds.
Volunteering to go the extra step
Corporate governance continues to be of uneven quality across Asia with most efforts at improvement resulting from regulatory enforcement rather than internal company policies.