ARA 2013 hails sustainability

July 29, 2013 | 14:58
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Vietnam’s Annual Report Awards 2013 wrapped up last week, with a keynote message to champion transparency and sustainability.

The Annual Report Awards championed corporate transparency and sustainability Photo: Le Toan

>> Annual Report Awards show class
>> Potential winning firms enter Annual Report Awards’ final round

The 50 winning entries were honoured at an awards ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh City co-hosted by the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), VIR’s sister publication Dau tu Chung khoan and fund management company Dragon Capital.

The winners were selected from a 132 report shortlist from more than 600 enterprises listed on the HoSE  and Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX). Fourteen of the winners were from HNX, with remainder listed on  HoSE.

Bao Viet Holdings succeeded in defending its title, securing this year’s Most Excellent Award with its annual report showing clear progress in both content and layout. The financial and insurance group also obtained the second prize in the first-ever Sustainability Reporting Awards, integrated into the contest for the first time. Bao Viet produced a stand-alone sustainability report.

This year’s programme saw four other companies win the Sustainability Reporting Awards, with the first prize going to Vinamilk, the country’s biggest dairy company. Three consolation prizes were presented to Hau Giang Pharmaceutical Company (for completeness), PetroVietnam Drilling (for reliability) and Ho Chi Minh City Securities Company (for layout).

According to Bao Viet Holdings CEO Tran Trong Phuc, the goup’s sustainability report was in line with Global Reporting Initiative norms.

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and UK-based global body Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) joined the judging for the sustainability reports at this year’s contest. IFC and ACCA selected the five winners from the 88 reports that included sustainable development issues.

The contest’s Selection Council remarked this year’s entries basically adhered to new government regulations on publishing information in the stock market. Compared to last year, the quality level of this year’s entries was higher, and it was interesting to see many of the finalists were small and medium-sized enterprises.

The results of the contest sent the message that a good annual report does not depend on the scale or financial capability of a business, but on the awareness and commitment to pursue transparency in publishing information, said HoSE CEO Phan Thi Tuong Tam, head of the organising board and chair of the selection council.

Giving an overall remark, she said: “Investors have paid more and more attention to annual reports. Therefore, the judges have made efforts to improve competition criteria every year in terms of both the quality and appearance of the report.

“We will work out more norms for transparency to require more honesty in publishing information. For example, companies will have to include sustainability reporting and an analysis of their operations; corporate governance must be more specific. We’ll announce the norms for next year before we start promoting next year’s contest.”

Beginning in 2008, the Annual Report Awards programme is co-organised by VIR, the Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi bourses, and is exclusively sponsored by fund management company Dragon Capital.

Pham Nguyen Vinh, business development director at Dragon Capital, said he believed the contest had served as a good communication channel for promoting corporate awareness of the need to improve annual reports and sustainability reporting.

By By Tuong Thuy

What the stars mean:

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