The Vietnam Listed Company Awards 2020 have shone a light on listed companies with outstanding corporate governance and sustainability efforts during a year when coronavirus dominated global headlines.
|The Vietnam Listed Company Awards has honoured successful businesses such as Vingroup, Novaland, and FPT Corporation |
Unlike previous years, the Vietnam Listed Company Awards (VLCA) 2020 took place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively affected Vietnam and other global economies. In light of a significant business disruption caused by the global health crisis, many companies have delayed disclosure of corporate information, which have affected the assessment results of this year’s award.
The number of annual reports this year was down 28 compared with 2019 as many companies failed to submit applications in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. There was also a slight decline in average scores of annual reports in comparison with last year.
However, the average scores of companies in the top 30 and top 50 remain high and nearly unchanged, which shows their efforts to maintain the quality of annual reports. Meanwhile, the lowest scores of annual reports also dropped compared to 2019. The main reason is that companies still made efforts to complete annual reports on time although they have worked from home during social distancing period.
This is the third year the VLCA classified participants in groups based on their market capitalisation. Large-cap companies usually dominated the winners’ list with higher scores in terms of quality and content. They are now 50 large-cap companies in the VNX50 index with stable quality and superior scores.
Around 150 mid-cap companies scored 54.36 out of 100 points, which shows that they just provided basic content for their annual reports. However, the quality of the top 10 annual reports in both mid and large-cap groups are consistent. Companies have made remarkable annual reports with diverse and concise content, eye-catching presentation, and new slogans, among others, reflecting the seriousness and high responsibility of their reporting team.
Despite being the largest group, the 200 small-cap companies mainly scored below average. More than half of them have incomplete annual reports that lack crucial information. Nevertheless, they narrowed the content gap as small and large-cap groups came out at 111 out of 128 points. Some even made it to the top 5 annual reports, which shows that small-cap companies are becoming more serious about annual reporting and information transparency.
The awards’ organising committee hopes that this year’s awards, which recognise the quality of annual reports in three groups, will raise the awareness of listed companies, especially small-cap ones to improve their reporting standards and close the gaps with the two other groups.
Companies with good governance scores have higher stock prices and better business performance than those with poor governance practices. The assessment results for the 2018-2020 period were consistent.
Sustainable development has become the top concern among many countries, including Vietnam. According to a World Bank report, Vietnam’s fast-paced industrialisation and development has negatively affected the environment and natural resources. The country is one of the world’s five most-affected countries in terms of climate change and rising sea levels. In this context, businesses are encouraged to raise awareness and make active investments in sustainable development.
To accommodate the change, the organising committee has added new criteria related to environmental protection. Based on the results of the VLCA 2020, only 4.2 per cent of companies announced policies, practices, and efforts to protect the environment during the selection of suppliers and manufacturers.
After the preliminary and final rounds, the organising committee and the judges have selected 40 excellent listed companies to be honoured in the three categories outstanding annual reports, corporate governance awards, and sustainability reporting awards. In addition, the organising committee also selected one company for each category for outstanding progress to recognise their efforts in information transparency.
This year, the organising committee has developed the award ceremony into a Listed Company Conference 2020. The Wildlife Conservation Day on December 4 was also scheduled for the conference and award ceremony.
Nguyen Vu Quang Trung, Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange’s deputy CEO and head of the Organising Committee and the Selection Panel said, “The VLCA 2020 is an opportunity for businesses to exchange and share best practices. It will spread a strong message about transparency, corporate governance, and sustainable development – the foundation for businesses to increase confidence in their businesses.”