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SEC announces listed firms' progress on fighting graft

NOW a majority or 60 per cent of companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand place priority on campaigning against corruption, while 19 companies have been certified by the Collective Action Coalition.

The Securities and Exchange Commission supported the Thaipat Institute in announcing the progress of listed companies' anti-corruption initiatives yesterday.

Vorapol Socatiyanurak, secretary-general of the SEC, said the Thaipat Institute assigned an "anti-corruption progress indicator" to listed companies that it had assessed.

This is an initiative under the SEC's Sustainability Development Roadmap for Listed Companies, which emphasises running a business with good corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and firm commitment to fighting graft.

This will pave the way for them to become role models for other businesses.

Among the 567 listed companies, comprising 472 companies listed on the SET and 95 on the Market for Alternative Investment, the anti-corruption progress indicator of 344 companies or 60 per cent attained a level of 1 or higher, which demonstrated the commitment at management and organisational levels that adopted the policy to refrain from corruption.

Of the firms, 19 firms achieved level 4 as CAC certified members. After the completion of the 2013 assessment, nine listed companies were certified by the CAC, bring the total to 28 listed companies as CAC certified members.

The assessment allowed each listed company to realise its anti-corruption development level and enabled the company to apply such information to its strategy. Investors can learn of listed companies' commitment and policy against corruption from securities firms' analysis reports prepared by taking into account the information on the anti-corruption progress indicator.

The assessment results, classified by country and company, will be posted on the CG Thailand website. Investors in mutual funds can help support anti-corruption practices by investing in the funds with the policy to invest in companies adopting anti-corruption practices.

Over 200 companies have not yet disclosed their intent. The SEC will plan to raise awareness among them for future assessment, he added.

Pipat Yodprudtikan, director of the Thaipat Institute, said the institute supported listed companies' efforts to concretely apply anti-corruption practices as specified by the SEC in its roadmap.

Their participation will lead to the creation of an anti-corruption culture and eventually they will become a role model for the private sector.

Voravan Tarapoom, chairperson of the Association of Investment Management Companies, chairperson of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations and CEO of BBL Asset Management Co, said that although not listed, institutional investors - comprising asset management companies, securities companies, insurance companies, life insurance companies, the Government Pension Fund and the Social Security Office - all have in place policies against corruption and achieved level 1 or higher.

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