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Vietnam introduces Corporate Governance Code of Best Practices

Released at: 10:52, 14/08/2019

Vietnam introduces Corporate Governance Code of Best Practices

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

Code to strengthen capital market and boost sustainable economic growth.

by Hong Nhung

The first Vietnam Corporate Governance Code of Best Practices for Public Companies was launched on August 13 by the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) in Ho Chi Minh City.

It was developed with technical support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The code lays out a series of recommendations on best corporate governance practices, primarily for Vietnamese public companies. It includes standards that go beyond the minimum legal and regulatory requirements, encouraging companies to move towards international best practices. This will also help Vietnam align with its ASEAN peers, which have long instituted similar codes.

“This code is the most recent effort to support public and listed companies in aspiring to international corporate governance standards, which will help raise the quality of companies listed on our stock exchanges,” said Mr. Tran Van Dzung, SSC Chairman. “The ultimate goal is to promote investor confidence and grow Vietnam’s capital markets, which will help fuel the sustainable development of the national economy.”

The code consists of ten principles with detailed recommendations for best practices and is aimed at addressing priority issues in corporate governance performance by Vietnamese companies. Six principles are focused on the functioning of the board of directors, which is an area that requires further improvement in many Vietnamese firms.

The remaining four principles cover areas such as control environment, transparency and disclosure, shareholder rights, and stakeholder relations. The code also includes provisions relating to responsible business, such as promoting gender diversity and encouraging a stronger focus on environmental and social issues.

“Good corporate governance attracts capital,” said Mr. Philippe Le Houérou, IFC CEO. “Investors have greater confidence in companies with good corporate governance and in markets that are backed by sound legal and regulatory regimes. This Corporate Governance Code of Best Practices can help Vietnamese companies send a signal to investors to come and do business in Vietnam.”

While the code is mainly aimed at guiding good governance practices for Vietnamese public and listed companies, other companies can also utilize the code as a benchmark for best practices.

As the issuer of this code, the SSC, along with the Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi stock exchanges, will use it to promote good corporate governance practices and will monitor the voluntary adoption of the code by companies.

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