18 January 2010

Governance in companies - the dark side

The Asian Corporate Governance Association is coming out with a report on corporate governance tomorrow, according to FT, which will highlight the dark side of Indian companies - particularly areas relating to:

"According to the report, “critical areas” of corporate governance were sidestepped in spite of the reforms enacted in recent years.

The five key recommendations include a call to overhaul the “weak” regime governing related-party transactions, including giving independent shareholders the power to approve large transactions.

In addition, ACGA says that “the scope for the misuse and abuse of warrants in India is considerable”.

Investors also remain frustrated with the audit profession, which is “highly fragmented and hamstrung by regulations that protect the small firm at the expense of the market”.

ACGA also calls for changes to shareholder meetings. Investors want earlier notification of meetings and to be able to instruct their proxies to speak at the gatherings.

Annual meetings are often held in out of the way places – for instance, ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, holds its meetings in Baroda, a small city in Gujarat."

More once the report is out.

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