Sarawak’s Naim Group Jumps 8 Places & Tops Property Sector In 2007 Corporate Governance Survey

The 2007 Corporate Governance Survey Report, a joint study by the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group and the University of Nottingham Business School, ranked Sarawak-based property and construction group Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad 12th overall in Malaysia for compliance with local and international corporate governance principles and best practices. This was a further leap of eight places from its remarkable debut last year in 20th position.

The report, based on a survey of the top 350 companies (by market capitalization) on Bursa Malaysia, ranks the companies against a wide range of corporate governance criteria, with special emphasis on board composition, independence of Directors, transparency, and accountability and auditing practices.

Naim, listed only 4 years ago in September 2003, was ranked amongst the top 5% of all Malaysian companies. The group was the clear leader in the property sector, was one of only 10.29% of companies providing detailed disclosure of Directors’ remuneration, and was once more the highest-ranked listed company in Sarawak by a substantial margin.

Naim’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Ricky Kho, says Naim will work to be the youngest company ever to break into the Report’s top ten overall, but added a note of caution. He points out that all the companies ranked above Naim are long-established Bursa Malaysia members who have decades of experience in developing corporate governance systems.

He noted that the companies ranked above Naim are mostly financial institutions and/or GLCs, for whom corporate governance requirements are far more stringent and who therefore enjoy a natural advantage; for every ringgit they spend on enhancing corporate governance, their competitors are required by regulators to do the same, and thus their bottom line remains unaffected. The Naim Group, by comparison, is competing directly with privately held companies, and with listed companies who choose not to prioritise corporate governance. Thus Naim needs to run its corporate government function at minimal cost in order to maintain profitability. Nevertheless, the Group is still hopeful of breaking into the Top 10 in the foreseeable future.