Hong Kong-listed mainland Chinese companies dominate directors' awards

Institute chairman says they are more mindful of their corporate image

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 December, 2013, 5:29am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 December, 2013, 5:29am

Mainland companies swept the board yesterday in the Hong Kong Institute of Directors annual awards for best directors of listed firms in the city.

"Mainland companies have been sweeping the categories for listed companies for the past several years, and I'm not surprised [with this year's result]," said Kelvin Wong, the chairman of the institute, which also gives awards to private companies and non-profit organisations.

"The mainland companies which are serious about achieving long-term growth are very mindful of their corporate image, but Hong Kong companies that are already established don't seem to worry as much."

In order to determine the winners of the 13th annual Director of the Year Awards, the judges trawled through company reports and completed hours of interviews with staff members of each company.

This year, the institute paid special attention to boards and directors committed to promoting environmental, social and government policies that "create added value to society as a whole".

"The companies which are brave enough to participate and thus risk the possibility of our independently finding some problems tend to be quite confident in the quality of their corporate governance," Wong said, adding that there had not been a significant decrease in the number of Hong Kong companies participating.

China Pacific Insurance, one of the three largest mainland insurance companies, won awards for having the best executive director and the best board among firms included in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Shanghai-based Fosun International, the largest privately owned conglomerate on the mainland, and Kingdee Inter-national Software won awards for having the best executive director among companies not included in the Hang Seng Index.

China Everbright won for having the best non-executive director in the same category.

"Since Kingdee listed in Hong Kong in 2001, we've strived to maintain complete openness, transparency and fair practices," said Robert Xu, Kingdee's executive director.

"That's the only way we can grow sustainably. And building a diverse board of directors who are knowledgable about Hong Kong and the international market is a big part of our work."

A Fosun spokesman said the company's executive director would continue to cultivate diverse talent and maintain a high level of transparency.