The Hong Kong Institute of Company Secretaries will issue guidelines to members on how to help listed companies enhance their corporate governance, according to its new chief. Newly elected president Samantha Suen Pui-yee, who is also principal of KPMG, said the guidelines plan was one of the institute's major projects for next year. 'Company secretaries have a duty to remind the board of directors how they can achieve best corporate practice. They are, therefore, playing an important role in corporate governance,' Ms Suen said. The proposed guidelines would outline what company secretaries should do to help their companies achieve best practices, she said. They would require company secretaries to make proper records of board meetings and update their directors on any changes of regulations. 'Most company secretaries have learned their roles and responsibilities in corporate governance. But the guidelines will set a single standard for everyone in the sector to follow best practice,' she said. An institute working group had been working on the guidelines but it had yet to set a timetable for their release. Founded in Hong Kong in 1949, the institute is the industry body for company secretaries and has more than 4,200 members and 2,800 student members. It is a major promoter of corporate governance in Hong Kong, arranging surveys, research and seminars on the subject. 'Hong Kong needs to promote corporate governance to further enhance market transparency and investor protection. By improving corporate governance, we could attract more overseas investors to put their money in the local market and strengthen Hong Kong's position as an international financial centre,' Ms Suen said. Although she called for more transparency, she supported Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's decision not to force all companies to report results every quarter. HKEx in January proposed to require all main-board companies to follow the international trend and report their results quarterly, instead of every six months. After stiff opposition from some companies including HSBC Holdings, HKEx chief executive Kwong Ki-chi said last month that it would only encourage, but not force, all companies to do so. Ms Suen said: 'I think HKEx is heading in the right direction as it would be better to encourage more companies to do quarterly reporting before it [was] made a mandatory requirement.'