FM Global survey shows mixed corporate governance picture for Asia

Singapore was the top ranked country for corporate governance

Singapore has emerged as the leading country for corporate governance according to the 2019 edition of the FM Global Resilience Index.

The insurer’s index has been running for several years now but this is the first time that corporate governance has been added as one of the 12 economic, risk and supply chain-related metrics used to rank countries.

Singapore ranked as 21st overall out of the 130 countries included but came top on corporate governance issues due to the strength of the country’s auditing and accounting standards, conflict of interest regulation and shareholder governance. Singapore was also the top ranked country for supply chain drivers.

Other countries in the region that fared well were New Zealand (12th), Australia (17th) Hong Kong (18th) and Japan (27th) which all shared high-quality infrastructure, low levels of corruption and political risk, and little exposure to fire risk.

However a number of other Asia-Pacific countries fared poorly in the index. Nepal, Pakistan and Iran were the lowest ranked while Bangladesh (108th), Indonesia (77th) and the Philippines (93rd) were well behind neighbouring states due to a lack of resilience to cyber risk, political risk, fire risk and natural disasters.

“This year’s Resilience Index is a strong reminder to business leaders of the importance of carefully evaluating a country’s or territory’s unique exposures such as natural hazards, rapid urbanisation, as well as political and cyber risk,” said David Johnson, regional senior vice-president of FM Global’s Asia operations.

“The nature of business resilience across Asia remains complex and reflects the diversity of the region’s risk exposures,” he added. “Singapore’s reputation as a global commercial business hub is once again reflected in the Index, but it also highlights the need for diligence among businesses with facilities or operations in less resilient locations.”

Europe dominated the top 10 countries while African countries made up most of the lowest quartile.