Below are key takeaways from ISS’ recently released Singapore 2021 Proxy Season Preview. The full report is available to institutional subscribers by logging into ProxyExchange then selecting the Governance Exchange and its Report Center tab and to corporate subscribers by logging into Governance Analytics then selecting the Governance Exchange and the Report Center tab.
- Assistance for Singapore’s REITs: The relevant authorities will allow REITs listed in Singapore to delay their distribution of income for up to one year and withhold the new minimum interest coverage ratio requirement until next year.
- Blooming ESG Awareness: SGX First will allow easy access of information on green, social and sustainability bonds and will innovate approaches in quantifying sustainable development for investment purposes. Further development has been made to allow easy access and assessment by investors. An ESG platform will be established to promote the right ESG disclosure practices for SGX-listed companies and to be in line with the major disclosure standards.
- Improvement on IPO Due Diligence Standards: The guidelines on pre-IPO due diligence conducted by issue managers and full sponsors will be enhanced in terms of an increased focus on the assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of the company’s internal controls, an assessment of the sustainability and viability of the business after considering the challenges posed by the prevailing economic climate, and other targeted guidelines on companies operating in specialized, restricted, or niche industries, and/or in higher risk jurisdictions.
- Enhancement on the Rules for Property Valuation and Auditors: Issuers primary listed on the SGX will be required to appoint an auditor registered with ACRA to conduct statutory audits for their financial year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2022, subject to further regulatory oversight. Moreover, property valuers for SGX listed issuers should be a member of the SISV and should have at least five years of relevant practical experience in valuing properties in a similar industry and area as the property to be valued.
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