BOCHK named as one of HK's best companies in terms of transparency Scandal-ridden BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) (BOCHK) ranks among the top Hong Kong companies when measured by standards of disclosure, according to a study by rating agency Standard & Poor's and the National University of Singapore (NUS). More credibly, the study ranked Hong Kong companies as less forthcoming than their Malaysian and Singaporean counterparts. The fact that BOCHK rated highly pointed to the limitations of the study, said Calvin Wong, managing director of Standard & Poor's governance services. The study focused only on the public information in companies' annual reports and did not consider other factors. This year, three of BOCHK's former senior executives were arrested in China for alleged embezzlement - former deputy chief executives Zhu Chi and Ding Yansheng and former general manager Zhang Debao. Last year, a former chief executive of the bank, Liu Jinbao, was sacked and arrested in the mainland for alleged corruption. 'The role models in Hong Kong have some way to go [in corporate governance],' said NUS associate professor Mak Yuen Teen. According to the study, the top five Hong Kong companies were BOCHK, Cosco Pacific, CLP Holdings, HSBC Holdings and Li & Fung (not in any order). The top Hong Kong firm scored 99 out of 140 while the best Singaporean firm scored about 120. The average score of Hong Kong companies was 42.47 out of 140, well below the average 65 of Malaysian companies and the average 81 of Singaporean firms, while Thailand and Indonesia ranked below Hong Kong. The survey studied the 30 to 50 biggest listed companies in each jurisdiction. 'There is a lot of room for improvement in Hong Kong with respect to corporate governance disclosure. The comparison between Hong Kong and Malaysia was most surprising,' Mr Wong said. For instance, all Malaysian firms in the study disclosed the number of board meetings they held each year, while 49 per cent of the Hong Kong companies did not. All the Malaysian companies disclosed directors' attendance at board meetings while 64 per cent of the Hong Kong companies did not.