CEO Morning Brief

24 Public-listed Companies Still Have no Women Directors

Publish date: Wed, 07 Jun 2023, 08:41 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

KUALA LUMPUR (June 6): As at June 1, 2023, 24 public-listed companies (PLC) in Malaysia still have not appointed at least one woman director, according to Bursa Malaysia Bhd, which is not compliant with the regulator’s updated listing rules which were announced in January 2022.

The new listing rules mandates PLCs with a market capitalisation of RM2 billion and above (as at Dec 31, 2021) to have at least one woman director by Sept 1,2022, and the remaining PLCs to do so by June 1, 2023.

“We would like to applaud the majority of PLCs who have already complied with the expectation announced eighteen months ago. It is a significant step in the right direction for corporate Malaysia. However, it is worth noting that several PLCs have yet to conform [to] the requirement. We must quickly address the issue of some PLCs still retaining all-male boards,” said Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift, CEO of Bursa Malaysia, in a press release last Friday (June 2).

The companies are:

Bertam Alliance Bhd;
Bright Packaging Industry Bhd;
Citaglobal Bhd;
Dataprep Holdings Bhd;
EA Holdings Bhd;
Fast Energy Holdings Bhd;
HCK Capital Group Bhd;
Inch Kenneth Kajang Rubber PLC;
Innoprise Plantations Bhd:
Jerasia Capital Bhd:
Lii Hen Industries Bhd:
MercuryIndustries Bhd:
Mieco Chipboard Bhd:
Nova MSC Bhd:
Perak Corporation Bhd:
Pinehill Pacific Bhd:
Riverview Rubber Estates Bhd:
SBC Corporation Bhd:
SEG International Bhd:
Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd;
Sin Heng Chan (Malaya) Bhd;
Vinvest Capital Holdings Bhd;
Widad Group Bhd; and
XOX Technology Bhd.

The regulator said it is committed to ensuring good corporate governance and will take appropriate regulatory actions against non-compliant PLCs.

“The Exchange will reinforce the need for Board of Directors to exhibit exemplary standards of responsibility and accountability towards driving corporate performance, while upholding diversity, equity and inclusion principles,” said Umar.

Under Bursa’s sustainability reporting guidelines, all Main Market PLCs are required from the financial year ending Dec 31, 2023 to effectively manage diversity in their organisations and make corresponding disclosures in their sustainability statement or reports. ACE Market PLCs will be subject to these requirements from the financial year ending Dec 31, 2025.

All PLCs have to report on the percentage of directors by gender and age group, and percentage of employees by gender and age group for each employee category.

The global drive to implement gender diversity in corporations stems from various studies from the academia and financial institutions that show diverse boards have a positive impact on a business’ financial and mission-based outputs.

For instance, Morgan Stanley examined over 1,500 companies in the MSCI World Index in March and found that those with greater gender diversity outperformed those with less by 1.6% in 2022.

Bursa’s mandatory requirement comes after the revised Malaysian Code of Corporate Governance 2021 by the Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia, which recommended that all boards should comprise at least 30% women directors. According to the SC’s data from May, 267 PLCs (22.8%) have met this target.

The Institutional Investors Council Malaysia, which includes the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) or KWAP, encourage investee companies to comprise at least 30% women representation on their boards within three years, which is in line with expectations from large global institutional investors.

Source: TheEdge - 7 Jun 2023

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