Singapore Exchange tightens audit rules for listed companies

A logo of the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) is pictured outside its premises in the financial district of Singapore April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files

Singapore Exchange‘s regulatory unit will tighten requirements for listed company  auditors  and raise standards on valuation reports, introducing a regulatory code of conduct for auditors.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) Chief Executive Tan Boon Gin said the changes enhance the standards required of auditors and property valuers in their dealings with listed companies.

“We expect the quality of the market and investor protection to improve as a result,” Tan said.

The moves, effective from Feb. 12, follow market criticism faced by SGX RegCo, the city-state’s frontline capital markets regulator, over its handling of accounting irregularities at some listed firms.

SGX RegCo has already stepped up disciplinary action on companies and toughened listing requirements, while also making it mandatory for firms to have a whistleblowing policy. SGX has been working to strengthen regulation and shore up liquidity after a penny stocks crash in 2013 battered investor confidence.

SGX is one of the world’s biggest global listing hubs for real estate investment trusts and business trusts – a key segment for retail investors.

The regulatory unit said all primary-listed issuers must appoint an auditor registered with Singapore‘s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority to conduct their statutory audits.

Following this new requirement, these audits will effectively be subject to the accounting regulator’s oversight.

SGX RegCo may also require companies to appoint a second auditor in exceptional circumstances.

Additionally, SGX RegCo said it “will require property valuers to have at least five years of relevant practical experience in valuing properties in a similar industry and area as the property to be valued.”

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.