The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is hosting a training seminar for Chinese market regulators and banking professionals to raise corporate-governance standards among Chinese listed companies with the aim of improving their performance and hence attractiveness for investors.
More than 40 executives from the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, the China Banking Association, the China Association for Public Companies (CAPCO), and provincial associations of listed companies are participating in the training program, which begins today in Beijing and ends Saturday, December 19. The program covers a range of topics including effective board leadership, group and family business governance, and shareholder rights protection, according to IFC.
The program is co-organized with CAPCO following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between IFC and CAPCO in September to foster closer collaboration and strengthen corporate-governance practices of publicly listed companies in China.
“IFC’s corporate-governance team spent a lot of efforts on designing the seminar and preparing high-quality training materials,” said Liu Rong, Deputy General Secretary of CAPCO. “Over the next two days, participants will learn about the latest international corporate-governance practices, which will strengthen their capacity in providing more corporate-governance training for Chinese listed companies. This will encourage the adoption of best practices among Chinese companies and raise overall market awareness.”
Many Chinese companies suffer from a lack of transparency, unclear ownership and organizational structures, inadequate financial reporting and control systems, and conflicts of interests arising from related party transactions.
“With the Chinese economy slowing down, it has become even more pertinent for Chinese companies to raise their corporate governance level as they seek to improve their sustainability and competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Chris Razook, IFC Corporate Governance Lead for East Asia and the Pacific. “Good corporate governance helps companies safeguard against mismanagement, generate better returns for shareholders, and attract more capital to fuel their growth.”
Since 2003, IFC has supported China’s efforts to strengthen corporate governance among Chinese companies by offering advice to individual companies, building partner institutions’ capacity to offer corporate-governance training, working with regulators to improve the regulatory framework, and organizing public seminars to share best practices. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in East Asia and the Pacific is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.