Corporate News

By Victor V. Saulon

11 PHL firms among best in corporate governance

Posted on November 16, 2015

ELEVEN Philippine companies made it to the inaugural list of top 50 publicly listed companies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) using corporate governance as the main criteria. Three of them -- Globe Telecom, Inc., Ayala Land, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. -- were also named the country’s best.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of Philex Mining, said the first ASEAN Corporate Governance award should be an incentive for medium or smaller companies to emulate.

“A good case is Philex. It’s not a terribly large company compared to either Meralco [Manila Electric Co.] or PLDT [Philippine Long Distance Co.] but it got recognized tonight and I’m quiet pleased with that,” he said on the sidelines of the ASEAN Corporate Governance Conference and Awards on Saturday at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City.

“At the end, governance is not a question of the size of the company but a question of the quality of the management of the company and the board as well,” Mr. Pangilinan added.

PLDT and Meralco are also among the top 11 Philippine companies in the list, along with Aboitiz Equity Ventures, BDO Unibank, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc., GT Capital Holdings, Inc., Manila Water Co., Inc. and SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

For Ernest L. Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe, winning the award means getting “a good set of investors who actually patronize your stock.”

“When it comes to raising money to fund our, say, network investments, it makes the process much easier. You also get good quality investors taking your bonds up. Also it helps us raise money at a lower rate,” he said.

The companies were assessed based on the following: rights of shareholders, equitable treatment, role of stakeholders, disclosure and transparency, board responsibilities, and bonuses and penalties.

“The primary benefit is our reputation... It elicits trust from our stakeholders,” Jasmine Oporto, Aboitiz Equity Ventures chief legal officer, said.

Danny Y. Yu, Philex Mining chief finance officer and corporate governance officer, said the award “may not automatically translate to material benefits but it will go a long way in terms of our company reputation and shareholder trust.”

“For the industry, we hope this will reawaken an authentic view on mining and it how works hand in hand with the government for national progress,” he added.

The Asian Development Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Institute of Corporate Directors, International Finance Corp. and the Philippine Stock Exchange are among the entities behind the ASEAN Corporate Governance awards.