The Blueprint focuses on 6 areas, namely shareholder rights, the roles of institutional investors, gatekeepers and influencers, disclosure and transparency, and public and private enforcement.
The recommendations in the Blueprint will be implemented over a 5 year period, through corporate governance code and changes to the Listing Requirements, which are expected to take effect by early 2012.
Those recommendations will be studied and reviewed through the formation of taskforces and working groups to be driven by industry together with SC.
Shorter reporting deadline for quarterly and annual reports
In respect of disclosure and transparency section, a taskforce of industry and regulators will be formed to undertake the review of current framework for periodic disclosure of financial and non-financial information,including the shortening of the submission of quarterly and annual reports.
Currently, listed companies have to announce their quarterly reports within 2 months and publish annual reports within 6 months.
The SC chairman said the best practice time frame in other markets is 45 days (quarterly reports) and 2 months (annual reports), respectively.
However, the plan for half-yearly reporting instead of quarterly reporting is included in the Blueprint and the taskforce will be also reviewing whether current quarterly reporting practice should be retained.
Countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong require their companies to report on a half-yearly basis.
Shortening financial reporting timeframe would inevitably place burden on the listed companies as the preparer of the reports, as well as put more time pressure on auditors in auditing the annual reports in a shorter timeframe.
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