20 May 2020
Everbright International Shortlisted in Top 10 Firms with Highest Corporate Governance Index Scores
The Hong Kong Institute of Directors ("HKIoD") recently announced the 2020 HKIoD Corporate Governance Scorecard ("Scorecard"). According to the Scorecard, China Everbright International Limited ("Everbright International") stood out in a crowd of 135 Hong Kong listed companies and was shortlisted in the Top 10 Firms with Highest Corporate Governance Index Scores for the first time, due to its comprehensive corporate governance system and high-level corporate governance performance. This marks the company’s corporate governance practices have been highly recognised by the relevant authority in Hong Kong.
The 2020 Scorecard surveyed 135 firms from the constituents of four major Hong Kong stock indexes. The evaluation criteria were based on the international standards (OECD Principles of Corporate Governance) and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited’s Code of Corporate Governance Practices. The firms were assessed on five aspects, namely rights of shareholders, equitable treatment of shareholders, role of stakeholders, disclosure and transparency, and board responsibilities. Together with annual reports and publicly available information, these firms were analyzed comprehensively and were given scores accordingly.
Since the Scorecard was first released in 2004, it has been published six issues consecutively. In 2020, the Scorecard expanded the evaluation scope and increased assessment standards. The numbers of candidate firms and survey questions reached a new high compared with recent years. Amidst unprecedented challenges that Hong Kong is currently facing, the Scorecard aims to test whether the local firms are maintaining the same international standards of corporate governance practices, and to provide case studies of good corporate governance practices for Hong Kong firms. The evaluation for the Scorecard was conducted independently and without notifying the firms being evaluated, which further speaks to the very authoritative and high level of the recognition. Being shortlisted for the first time in the Top 10 Firms with Highest Corporate Governance Index Scores, Everbright International was also the only environmental protection company on the list. The top 10 firms with the highest corporate governance index scores include (in the numerical order of the stock code): CLP Holdings (2), Hang Seng Bank (11), MTR Corporation (66), Hang Lung Properties (101), China Everbright International (257), HKEX (388), Link Real Estate Investment Trust (823), Lenovo Group (992), COSCO Shipping Ports (1199) and Standard Chartered (2888).
As a main board-listed company in Hong Kong, the largest environmental protection enterprise in China and the largest investor and operator in the waste-to-energy sector across the world, Everbright International has been striving to maintain a high level of corporate governance practices in the long-term, and actively carries out its corporate social responsibility. It has formed corporate governance standards and culture with a comprehensive system and effective execution. On organisation structure, five important committees were formed under the board of the company, namely: the Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee, Nomination Committee, Risk Management Committee and Disclosure Committee, with directors of the board of the company striving to fulfill its corporate governance responsibilities, demonstrating their leadership and integrity. In addition, the Management Decision Committee, chaired by the CEO of the company, is responsible for handling the day-to-day business activities and making collective decisions on major matters relating to the company’s daily business operations. For project risk management, the company has set up the Project Advisory Committee to monitor and assess risks regularly, as well as conduct technology assessment. For project financial control, the company insists on stringent budget management, and has set up the Budget Approval Management Committee that focuses on monitoring project construction budgets. Meanwhile, the company discloses information in a fair, timely and effective manner, and maintains a high level of transparency. As a result, the company’s value has been constantly enhanced. As the outstanding performance of Everbright International in corporate governance and related matters, the company has obtained many corporate governance honors over a number of years, including "Most Honored Company in Asia", "Best Investor Relations Company", "Best Executive Team", "Best Environment Responsibility Company" and "Hong Kong Corporate Governance Excellence Award".
Professor Wang Tianyi, CEO of Everbright International, said that it was the first time Everbright International was shortlisted in the list of Top 10 Firms with Highest Corporate Governance Index Scores, since the company’s inception. It means the company’s corporate governance practices and quality have been highly recognised by the relevant authority in Hong Kong, demonstrating the company’s headway and improvement in its corporate governance practices and system in recent years. Good corporate governance is not only the key to protecting shareholders’ interests, but also the cornerstone to support a company’s steady growth. Now, amid various internal and external challenges and uncertainties, it is imperative that the corporate governance practices should be further enhanced. By adhering to its "People-oriented, Pragmatism, Creativity and Systematic Management" management philosophy, Everbright International will continuously improve its corporate governance practices, through enhancement of its corporate governance system and capabilities and implementation of the best corporate governance practices, while it pursues innovative transformation and high-quality development. The company will also adhere to its corporate mission of being "Devoted to Ecology and Environment for a Beautiful China" and its corporate pursuit to "Create Better Investment Value and Undertake More Social Responsibility", and continue to improve its brand value and industry influence, in order to become a world-leading ecological and environmental management group.
About Report on the Corporate Governance Scorecard
The Report on the Corporate Governance Scorecard, which is organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Directors ("HKIoD"), was first launched in 2004 and issued every three to four years, with six issues having been released so far. The report documents findings of a survey on corporate governance practices of most representative listed companies in Hong Kong, based on these companies’ annual reports and publicly available information. It serves the purposes of raising community awareness, establishing benchmarks relevant to the Hong Kong financial market and compatible with international standards.
HKIoD is Hong Kong’s premier body representing directors to foster the long term success of companies through advocacy and standards setting in corporate governance and professional development for directors. With membership consisting of directors from listed and non listed companies, HKIoD is committed to establishing an influential voice in representing directors.