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Oman Corporate Governance Centre (OCCG) of the Capital Market Authority (CMA) launched here yesterday the third edition of the biennial Corporate Governance Excellence Award for 2013 under the auspices of Abdullah bin Salem al Salmi, CMA’s Executive President.
Sayyid Hamid bin Sultan al Busaidy, Director, Oman Corporate Governance Centre, said the competition, which targets all MSM listed companies, insurance firms and securities enterprises, is a good opportunity for the companies to assess their implementation of the principles of good management, exchange of expertise and improve the level of implementation. The competition is also a unique platform where companies can demonstrate their capabilities, values and best practices.
The completed questionnaire, supporting documents, and annual reports for 2011 and 2012 must be submitted by no later than April 8. The OCCG has requested companies to confirm their participation via email by March 13.
Some attendees said not many companies decide to participate in this award competition.
In the 2010 award, only 25 companies participated and in 2011 not more than 27 figured in the competition, although it is now open to all MSM listed companies, insurance firms and securities enterprises.
It was also pointed out that there was no special consideration for small and medium enterprises and most of the awards are taken away by the same large companies who win in other competitions as well. So repeatedly the awards are going to a select group of companies in most competitions.
In her presentation Latifa al Bimany, corporate governance specialist, OCCG, said participating companies will be categorised are into banking, finance, industry and services & insurance.
The top three scoring companies in each sector will be short listed for interview and the final results will be given to an independent judging panel to select the winners.
An award winner will be announced from each of the four categories with runner up awards for second and third place; and an overall winner will be announced from amongst the four winners of the categories.
The award depends on four main areas namely good governance, independence and effectiveness of the board, disclosure and transparency and risk management and responsibility of shareholders. Additional criteria include implementing governance culture and corporate social responsibility principles.
Oman Corporate Governance Centre, which was established in 2009, functions under the CMA supervision of the CMA and aims at promoting the corporate governance culture in the Sultanate. The CMA Corporate Governance Excellence Awards winners are honoured at a special award ceremony in recognition of their exemplary standards of governance and commitment to uphold company values and stakeholders’ rights, reflecting that good corporate governance is taking root in Oman’s market across a wide spectrum of companies with different backgrounds and size.
The awards aim to foster the highest standards in corporate governance, business ethics and board leadership in the Sultanate; recognise excellence; showcase best practices and accomplishments, and thereby promote a strong corporate governance culture.
Latifa al Bimany said this competition is the first of its kind in the Sultanate and reflects the considerable development Oman has achieved in corporate governance on the regional and international levels.
Certainly this competition would enable the companies to identify the points of strength and weakness that needs more development and attention. Furthermore, the competition would contribute to educating the companies to apply best corporate governance practices which would reflect on their performance as well as boosting CMA’s efforts in enhancing investors’ confidence in the financial and investment market which would have positive impact on the national economy.
Sayyid Hamid Al Busaidy said the objectives of the Corporate Governance Excellence Award are to raise awareness of the benefits of greater transparency and accountability to stakeholders, to drive innovative competition among participating companies, and to encourage companies to comply with the Code of Corporate Governance.