Board Matters Quarterly: June 2013
Major Companies Act changes by 2014
The Companies Act governing all companies incorporated in Singapore is in for a "major housekeeping", said deputy prime minister and finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on the largest Companies Act review exercise since it was enacted in 1967.
On 2 May 2013, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) published a Public Consultation on Draft Companies (Amendment) Bill 2013 (consultation paper).
The Draft Companies (Amendment) Bill 2013 (draft bill) contains amendments targeted at encouraging greater shareholder activism among retail investors by introducing a multiple proxies regime for indirect investors (including CPF investors). Other amendments are aimed at reducing regulatory burden and compliance costs for small companies, for example, a new “small company” criterion will be introduced to exempt certain private companies from statutory audit.
Other key amendments will also be introduced to further boost transparency and corporate governance standards through extending the statutory duty on disclosure of conflict of interests for directors to CEOs, and requiring public companies to disclose the reason if its auditors resign prematurely.
In this issue, we highlight some key areas where amendments are being made.
Tan Seng Choon
Partner, Assurance, Professional Practice