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And the 2016 Bell Awardees are.

The Philippine Stock Exchange honored five publicly listed companies led by the Ayala, Sy, Aboitiz and First Pacific groups along with five stock brokerage houses for exemplifying excellence in corporate governance.

During Thursday night's 2016 Bell Awards - the Philippines' primary corporate governance award-giving body for publicly listed companies and trading participants - China Banking Corp., Philex Mining Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp. as well as Ayala-led companies Manila Water Co. Inc. and Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. were celebrated as the 'best of the best in corporate governance' among publicly listed companies.

'Admittedly, companies are in different stages in their appreciation and adoption of corporate governance. We have seen the early adapters evolve from treating corporate governance as a requirement to inculcating good governance in their company culture,' PSE chair Jose Pardo said during his opening remarks.

'Good corporate governance is not a function of company size, whether in terms of market capitalization or workforce count. Rather, it is a product of commitment and initiative. Commitment shows the degree of responsibility embraced by the entire company to uphold transparency and accountability to champion the welfare of the company stakeholders. While commitment may result to good corporate governance, it takes initiative to practice a brand of governance that is way above what the standards require,' Pardo added.

Sy family-led China Bank has bagged the Bell Award every single year since the annual awards were created by the PSE five years ago. This is so far the only listed company that holds the five-peat bragging right.

Ayala-led Manila Water won for the fourth time while Philex Mining, the local mining arm of First Pacific group, is an awardee for the second straight year.

Among trading participants, this year's Bell awardees for good governance are: Credit Suisse Securities Philippines Inc., Macquarie Capital Securities Philippines Inc., UBS Securities Philippines Inc., Deutsche Regis Partners Inc. and RS Lim and Co.

RS Lim has won the Bell award for the fourth straight year while Deutsche Regis has won for the third consecutive year. Credit Suisse and Macquarie were both awardees in 2015.

The PSE launched the Bell Awards in 2012 to give due distinction to publicly listed companies and trading participants that have excellent corporate governance programs and practices.

This year's panel of judges included Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita Herbosa, Capital Markets Integrity Corp. president Cornelio Gison, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely, Asian Institute of Management president Jikyeong Kang and Ateneo de Manila University president Jose Ramon Villarin S.J.

The screening process looked at listed companies' compliance with the PSE's corporate governance guidelines and compliance with relevant rules and regulations.

Trading participants, on the other hand, were evaluated based on their performance in regulatory audits and compliance with market regulations and trading rules.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Nov 11, 2016
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