2018 Pwint Thit Sa / Transparency in Myanmar Enterprises Report Launched
Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) today launches the fourth Pwint Thit Sa report on Transparency in Myanmar Enterprises (TiME), in partnership for the first time with Yever, a Myanmar business consultancy.
The 2018 Report assesses information disclosure on the corporate websites of 182 large Myanmar companies, including listed, and public ones. Almost twice as many companies were assessed as in the last Pwint Thit Sa report, published in 2016, using twice as many dimensions and criteria. This makes Pwint Thit Sa 2018 the most ambitious public report ever published about the state of corporate governance in Myanmar.
The 2018 report, although based on the same principle of rating online information disclosure by companies, adopts a different scorecard from the previous three reports. The scoring is now based on the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard which is being used in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.
The top three companies in 2018 scoring highest for disclosure are First Myanmar Investment (FMI) Group, City Mart Holdings (CMHL), and Serge Pun & Associates (SPA). While these companies have consistently featured in the Top 10 of previous Pwint Thit Sa reports, all of them have made added efforts in Pwint Thit Sa 2018 to enhance disclosure, and CMHL has risen from 8th in 2016 to 2nd in 2018.
Other companies scoring highly are Aya Bank and Max Myanmar, Shwe Taung and Grand Guardian Insurance, Dagon Group and Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings. Myanmar Awba, Myanmar Citizens Bank, and First Private Bank have all significantly improved disclosure of corporate governance information compared to their disclosure in the last report in 2016.
Many companies amongst those assessed still do not have corporate websites (67 out of 182, or 37% of those surveyed). Even where companies do, many of these websites publish little to no data relating to the criteria covered in this survey. Of those companies with websites, 80 out of 116 (69% ) scored less than 7%, which was the overall average score for all companies assessed.
Another striking finding was the very poor disclosure record and absence of corporate governance by companies who are registered at DICA as ‘public’ companies, but have not met the reporting and disclosure requirements for such companies which were introduced in the 2015 Securities Exchange Rules. The average score for such companies was 4%.
Large and medium sized companies who have not been included in the 182 companies surveyed in this report but who are interested in demonstrating their commitment to transparency can volunteer throughout 2018 to be benchmarked under MCRB’s ‘Mini Pwint Thit Sa’ process.
The report also summarises the regulatory framework for disclosure, as well as recent Myanmar developments related to the wider objectives of MCRB’s work on corporate governance and transparency. It covers activities and regulatory reform by the Myanmar government, including the Myanmar Securities and Exchange Commission (SECM), to improve the quality of corporate governance and regulation of companies and their investments, and to increase transparency and access to information. It also summarises initiatives to address corruption, and related activities by civil society organisations.
The report also covers Myanmar’s participation in global initiatives such as the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), and UN Global Compact (UNGC). It also highlights some of the emerging issues and initiatives in the global debate about corporate governance and transparency, such as non-financial reporting and sustainability management, stakeholder engagement, diversity, including on gender, beneficial ownership, and human rights and modern slavery.
Recommendations are included in the report which are intended to enhance corporate governance and transparency. These are directed at Myanmar companies, government, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Myanmar Parliament, institutional investors and civil society and the media.