Below are key takeaways from ISS’ recently released 2022 Singapore Proxy Season Review. 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.
- Mandatory Climate Reporting: The Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) mandated climate reporting from financial year 2022 on a comply-or-explain basis. Climate reporting will be mandatory for issuers in the financial, energy, and agriculture, food and forest products industries from financial year 2023. Listed companies from the materials and buildings, and transportation industries will also be subject to mandatory reporting from their financial year 2024.
- Board Diversity: The Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. (SGX-ST) amended its Listing Rules at the start of 2022 to require issuers to set a board diversity policy that addresses gender, skills, and other relevant aspects of board diversity. In addition, icompanies must also describe their board diversity policy and include details such as diversity targets, plans, timelines and progress in their annual reports.
- Developments on Singapore’s Healthcare Industry: The pandemic pushed the development of technology in healthcare by increasing awareness and improvements in virtual solutions such as teleconsultations, e-pharmacy, and patient monitoring. The continuing government support for consumers of healthcare and healthcare technologies in Singapore proved imperative in increasing the accessibility and the consumer base of the healthcare industry, and the growth of the “healthtech” sector in Singapore. Many of these healthtech companies are already listed, or may be expected to list as they grow.
- Virtual Meetings Become the Norm: SGX RegCo issued a list of expectations on the conduct of general meetings to clarify practices in order to ensure that shareholders have the proper information and rights when participating in virtual general meeting. Face-to-face meetings were allowed again due to safety management measures and the return to a more normal situation in Singapore. SGX RegCo clarified, however, that issuers are still allowed to hold virtual-only or hybrid meeting provided that they have enough time to set up the required arrangements.
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By: Joseph Estillore, Mary Frances Lozada, Lorenzo Montecillo