Annual Report contest to highlight transparency

March 21, 2012 | 10:52
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Vietnam’s fifth Annual Report Awards (ARA) competition was launched on March 20 with a record number of entries, underscoring the need for transparency to fortify investors’ confidence.

>> ARA helps fortify market transparency

“As Vietnam’s stock market is confronting challenges with many firms making losses and investors losing confidence in the market, this year’s contest is expected to reconnect investors with listed firms and the market,” said Phan Thi Tuong Tam, head of the organising panel and chairwoman of the jury.

“However, we do not take profits or losses into consideration, but focus marking on transparency of information,” added Tam, also CEO of the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE).

More than 700 annual reports from companies listed on the HoSE and the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) will be judged during this year’s contest, with 50 winners in three categories named for excellence in company reporting.

Norms, transparency, professionalism and creativeness continue to be the major criteria for this year’s competition. Winning the awards, or not, depends on the way the listed companies publish their information rather than on their business performance, according to the organisers – HoSE and VIR’s sister publication Dau tu Chung khoan.

Contest winners must meet criteria on publishing company information as per the Ministry of Finance’s Circular No 09/2010/TT-BTC, while taking into account international standards of good governance and providing insightful analyses of their operations.

Annual reports appropriate for selection are those for the 2011 fiscal year, officially announced and submitted on time to HoSE or HNX. The submitting deadline is April 20, 2012.

The six-member judging panel will include representatives from the HoSE, HNX, VIR, Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics, ANZ and the Vietnam Association of Accountants and Auditors.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, VIR’s editor-in-chief and co-head of the organising board, said: “Given that the world and Vietnam are grappling with the recent economic downturn, insightful analyses of risk management and growth strategies for the future will be key considerations this year.”

The organising panel said it expected to hand out the awards to the top 50 entries.

Dominic Scriven, CEO of Dragon Capital Group Limited - the sole sponsor of the contest, said: “We hope the winners this year can include the impact of their operations on the environment, possible environmental improvement methods and their board of directors’ outlook on risk management and mitigation.”

“By pairing up with ARA organisers over the last four years, we have aimed to build a strong, sustainable and healthy market in Vietnam, as the country imports ever more international standards into account,” he added.

This year’s programme will run three months to June 20, including three rounds -- qualifying, final and awarding. The 2012 Awarding Ceremony and Fifth Anniversary is set for July 10, 2012 to honour this year’s winners and those with outstanding performances over the past five years.

The organising panel would also pick companies with good annual reports in consecutive years for the State Securities Commission of Vietnam to consider issuing certificates of merit, said Tuan.

The panel also has plans to select the annual reports of these five years for display during the fifth anniversary. “They deserve to be honoured,” Tuan said.

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional