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What are you hiding, Singapore?

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A good number of local listed companies are still not completely transparent about their executive pay disclosure.

Currently, the Code of Corporate Governance requires companies to disclose the exact amount of CEO pay, the link between corporate performance and executive pay, and the names and relationships of pay consultants, The Business Times reported.

“Better transparency and disclosure will help them better understand how well-aligned executives are with their interests, particularly how executive pay is tied with appropriate performance metrics,” Kevin Ong, director of executive compensation for Southeast Asia at Towers Watson, said.

Based on the latest annual report, companies that gave varying degrees of disclosure included SingTel, Sembcorp Industries, UOB and City Developments.

Ong said one reason companies may be hesitant to reveal executive pay is over fear of poaching. However, he dispelled this belief and added that such information is still readily available from headhunters or the executive in question.

“Besides, pay is not the only reason executives move,” he said, adding another reason could be the lack of established KPI systems.

Hay Group Singapore, which did a study in 2012 of 300 listed companies, found 11% of respondents disclosed the exact CEO pay in annual reports, 79% disclosed it in bands of $250,000, and 9% disclosed it in an open-ended manner.

Companies that do not disclose the needed information will be questioned by the Singapore Exchange over why they did not do so.

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