Guide Securities Markets and Corporate Governance: A Chinese Experience

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As in previous years, the report comprises two distinct surveys: a market-ranking survey carried out independently by ACGA on macro CG quality in 12 markets in Asia-Pacific, and a separate company survey conducted by CLSA analysts around the region on corporate governance practices among c. Regulatory Enforcement is also improving. However, the introduction of dual-class shares in Hong Kong and Singapore, and other markets possibly following suit, is undermining the principle of fairness. This could have a far-reaching adverse impact on investor trust in Asian regulatory systems.

Performance: Firms with higher ESG scores consistently outperform peers, even after adjusting for market and sector differences. The impact is most extreme for companies that are called out for governance failures fraud. Short-sellers have stepped up activity again in Asia lately, and the report highlights the most common red flags so as to avoid their next targets.

We have taken steps to make our ESG scoring process more robust, bringing in alternative data sets and engaging more with sector analysts, in order to fully integrate ESG into our stock calls. CG Watch is one of the most comprehensive market surveys of corporate governance in Asia-Pacific. It is published biennially and comprises two distinct surveys: a market ranking survey carried out independently by ACGA on macro corporate governance quality in 12 Asia-Pacific markets, and a separate survey conducted by CLSA analysts on the corporate governance practices of c.

This is the ninth joint CG Watch report.

CLSA published two earlier reports in and The structure was reorganised from five thematic categories to seven categories based mainly around key stakeholder groups. The number of questions was increased from 95 to A new and more rigorous six-point scoring system has replaced the earlier five-point system. The purpose of this reorganisation is to delineate more clearly the role that different stakeholder groups play in the Asian corporate governance ecosystem, to draw more informative and timely comparisons, and to produce more targeted recommendations for regulators, companies, investors and others.

Established in Hong Kong in , ACGA is an independent, non-profit membership organisation dedicated to promoting long-term and substantive improvements in corporate governance in Asia through research, advocacy and education. Arguably each of these values is of great importance, and the precise balance between them is part of the choice of what kind of corporate governance system is adopted.

Yet there appears increasingly less opportunity to exercise this choice:. The universe of theoretical possibilities is much richer than a dominant strand of the literature suggests, and we are currently far short of the sort of empirical evidence that might help us sort out these possibilities. Most commentators have focused on efficiency to the exclusion of other values. Moreover, even if convergence occurs, there is a possibility that we will not converge on the best system. Even if we converge to the current best system, convergence still may not be desirable. McDonnell, 2. In the past these critical political choices on which system of governance provides the most value in terms of efficiency, equity and participation have been made and defended.

In contrast European social democracy has tended to favour other stakeholder interests, particularly labour, as a system that promotes welfare among all citizens and attempts to prevent wide disparities. In turn this can be viewed as a reaction to the historical rise of fascism and communism Pinto, Fligstein and Freeland 21 adopt a similar historical view that the form of governance is a result of wider political and institutional developments:. In this way characteristic institutions of the US economy can be traced back to distinctive political and regulatory intervention, resulting for example in historically distributed banks, diversified companies, and the dominance of the diversified M-form corporations.

In contrast in Europe and Japan the regulatory environment encouraged a very different approach:. Regulatory policy in the United States had the unintended consequence of pushing U. In other words, modern regulatory policy in the U. The implications for corporate governance are straightforward: corporations favour shareholders in the U. Jacoby, 8. A very different reading of these events is offered by Rajan and Zingales , who argue that widely dispersed shareholders is related to the development of liquid securities markets and the openness to outside investments, while it was not social democracy but protectionism that kept European and Japanese markets closed from competition with concentrated ownership.

As financial economists they favour the globalisation route to open market based competition, which they see as the way to unsettling local elites, achieving dispersed ownership, raising capital, and improving corporate governance. Following a different line of analysis the substantial empirical evidence of La Porta et al. Law and regulation may impede or promote convergence or divergence.

Securities Markets and Transactions Pt1

In many countries without adequate laws guaranteeing dispersed shareholder rights, the only alternative appeared to maintain control through concentrated ownership. This led to the conclusion that the law determined the ownership structure and system of corporate finance and governance. Jurisdictions where the law was more protective encouraged the emergence of more dispersed ownership Pinto, Coffee extends La Porta et al.

In contrast in civil law systems the state maintained a restrictive monopoly over law-making institutions for example in the early intrusion of the French government into the affairs of the Paris Bourse involving the Ministry of Finance approving all new listings.

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Coffee concludes that it was market institutions that demanded legal protection rather than the other way around:. The cause and effect sequence posited by the La Porta et al. They argue that strong markets require strong mandatory rules as a precondition.

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Although there is little evidence that strong legal rules encouraged the development of either the New York or London Stock Exchanges and there is at least some evidence that strong legal rules hindered the growth of the Paris Bourse , the reverse does seem to be true: strong markets do create a demand for stronger legal rules.

Both in the U. Eventually, as markets have matured across Europe, similar forces have led to the similar creation of European parallels to the SEC. In each case, law appears to be responding to changes in the market, not consciously leading it. Coffee, 6. In the search for explanations some have attempted a philosophical approach including Fukuyama who conceives of business organisations as the product of trust, and the different governance systems as built of different forms of trust relations.

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Regarding the social foundations and development of ownership structures and the law, other writers have examined the correlations between law and culture. Licht examines the relevance of national culture to corporate governance and securities regulation, and explores the relationship between different cultural types and the law:. In working towards a cross-cultural theory of corporate governance systems, Licht demonstrates that corporate governance laws exhibit systematic cultural characteristics. Dividing shareholder protection regimes according to groups of culturally similar nations is informative.

The evidence corroborates the uniqueness of common law origin regimes in better protecting minority shareholders. However, statutes in the English Speaking cultural region offer levels of protection to creditors similar to the laws in the Western European or Latin American regions. Our findings cast doubt on the alleged supremacy of common law regimes in protecting creditors and, therefore, investors in general.

Finally, we find that analyses of corporate governance laws in Far Eastern countries, a distinct cultural region, would benefit from combining an approach that draws on cultural value dimensions and one that draws on legal families. Licht, Licht concludes that corporations are embedded within larger socio-cultural settings in which they are incorporated and operate. Cultural values are influential in determining the types of legal regimes perceived and accepted as legitimate in any country, and serve as a guide to legislators.

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Berglof and von Thadden suggest the economic approach to corporate governance should be generalised to a model of multilateral interactions among a number of different stakeholders. They argue that though protection of shareholder interests may be important, it may not be sufficient for sustainable development, particularly in transitional economies. Licht concludes:. Every theory of corporate governance is at heart a theory of power. In this view, the corporation is a nexus of power relationships more than a nexus of contracts.

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The corporate setting is rife with agency relationships in which certain parties have the ability power unilaterally to affect the interests of other parties notwithstanding pre-existing contractual arrangements. In the present context, corporate fiduciaries are entrusted with the power to weigh and prefer the interests of certain constituencies to the interests of others beyond their own self-interest.

Given the current limitations of economic theory, progress in the analysis of the maximands of corporate governance may be achieved by drawing on additional sources of knowledge. Licht, 6. Optimal corporate governance mechanisms are contextual and may vary by industries and activities.

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Identifying what constitutes good corporate governance practice is complex, and cannot be templated into a single form. One needs to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the system but also the underlying conditions which the system is dependant upon Pinto, 31; Maher and Andersson, The institutions that compose the system of corporate governance and complement each other consist not just of the law, finance, and ownership structure. Complementarities may extend to such things as labour relations and managerial incentive systems. The commitment to permanency promotes extensive firm-specific training, which contributes to flexible specialisation in the production of high quality goods.

In contrast in the United States employer training investments are lower than in Japan and Germany, employees are more mobile, and there is less firm-specific skill development. He stood absolutely stock-still.

Corporate Governance

Before you decide, give yourself time to take stock of the situation. Mentioned in? References in periodicals archive? The MSM has joined hands with three other Arabian securities markets of Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia to ink the year agreement so that these securities markets get the advantages of the updates and aspects to facilitate mid-to-long-term development of the market.

Al Hashemi, in an interview with Emirates News Agency, WAM, said that the UAE has expanded the scope of its securities markets to a global level, which in turn has led to greater competition, requiring it to have a broader securities market with sophisticated products to market locally and internationally. Integration of UAE bourses to create strong stock markets. The 3-day course will cover a number of topics, including sources of information on securities markets , types of information about securities markets and how to deal with it, the elements and steps of drafting reports and articles, types of these reports.

True, the package of official reforms will induce more competition in banking and securities markets and offer attractive opportunities for foreign financial expertise. More bang for the yen?