SBF welcomes the adoption of a risk-based approach to companies’ quarterly reporting

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) welcomed the Singapore Exchange Regulation’s (SGX RegCo) announcement in January 2020 to apply quarterly reporting requirements only for companies associated with higher risks while strengthening continuous disclosure requirements on all listed companies.

This is in line with one of the recommendations in SBF’s “Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore” released in 2016. In the paper, the Federation suggested that there is scope to review and raise the market capitalization threshold for quarterly reporting for listed companies to reduce the compliance burden for smaller companies.

This would, in turn, allow companies to devote more resources to grow their businesses significantly before they are held accountable for more disclosure obligations.

SBF CEO Mr Ho Meng Kit said, “This is good news for the Singapore business community. SBF has always held the view that rules and regulations should not overburden businesses, and as result, divert their attention from their main focus of value creation.

“This change away from mandatory quarterly reporting for listed companies is an important signal that business regulations are beginning to allow companies to adopt a longer-term perspective for their plans. One good outcome is that this would enable companies greater scope to look after their other stakeholders and not just their shareholders,” he continued.

The SBF’s “Position Paper for a Vibrant Singapore” was developed before the 2015 General Election was called, with an intention to present the recommendations to the new Government. The Paper is the result of extensive consultations and meetings organised by SBF with the business community, with recommendations addressing the business community’s key immediate concerns as well as longer-term issues impacting Singapore’s future.

The medium to long-term strategies recommended in the paper include creating an economy not constrained by Singapore’s geographical boundaries, and developing Singapore as a strong home base for nerve center, thought leadership, innovation and growth activities to anchor businesses here as they expand overseas and create good jobs for Singaporeans.

Among the proposed actions to this end were to “review the approach to developing and upscaling our local enterprises as they are critical in our next phase of economic development”, to avoid the creation of an increasingly complex interface with businesses, and to review rules that are “over prescriptive, over-regulate, compromise business performance, and seek to protect specific segments of the community at the expense of lowering cost and protecting the consumers”