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Hit by coronavirus? Come clean, Singapore bourse tells companies

Coronavirus Apr 22, 2020 08:00AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Singapore 2/2

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore Exchange's (SI:SGXL) regulatory chief called on listed companies to provide "prompt and high quality" information on the impact of the novel coronavirus on their business or risk a loss of investor confidence.

SGX RegCo's CEO Tan Boon Gin gave the guidance in a column on Wednesday, just as Singaporean companies begin issuing quarterly results that will reflect the impact so far of the coronavirus pandemic.

In his remarks, Tan said "reliance on broad-stroke explanations pinned on a decline in general economic activity to explain away their outlook would be deemed inadequate and of little utility to their shareholders".

Instead "prompt and high-quality information" would benefit both issuers and investors, he said.

"If issuers do not come clean, investors will assume the worst. In today's market, the consequences of late or poor-quality disclosure could be dire," he said.

With more than 2.54 million cases reported and 177,000 deaths, the coronavirus outbreak has forced many countries to go into lockdown, disrupting global supply chains and debilitating the global economy.Tan said boards and auditors of companies should increase vigilance on the possible effects of global developments on companies' finances.

"This includes a review of the effectiveness of internal controls, including close scrutiny on high-risk areas such as cash balances and accounts receivables," he said.

Since Feb. 7, SGX-listed companies no longer need to issue quarterly reports, in line with practices in markets including Hong Kong, Britain and the European Union.

Companies listed on SGX now only need to file semi-annual reports unless they have issues such as regulatory concerns, in which case they still have to post quarterly results.

Hit by coronavirus? Come clean, Singapore bourse tells companies
 

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Comments (1)
Ald Wong
Ald Wong May 14, 2020 11:40PM ET
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SGX must think firstly as a regulator for the sharesholders first. SGX must be tough and first to check and punish any china catalists or any companies. but it shows SGX is for show only. Always push the blames on investors and companies and worst blame it on others countries regulators. SGX is there like a guardhouse to QC incoming cars as a first line of checking. In short, SGX failed miserably in doing their jobs. good in pr but actually very rotten inside.
 
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