PNG Stock Exchange adopts corporate governance code

The National Stock Exchange of PNG (PNGX) has adopted a new Corporate Governance code developed with characteristics of the PNG market in mind.

Chairman David Lawrence said this initiative aimed to provide to the boards of listed issuers and elevate corporate governance standards in the country by drawing on global standards and best practices in other stock exchange markets.

“Effective from 03 July, alongside the implementation of the new listing rules, the code sets the stage for companies to report their corporate governance practices for the financial year ending Dec 31,” he said.

Lawrence said market stakeholders can expect to find these reports included in the annual reports released in the second quarter of next year.

“Following an extensive period of public consultation that began in March this year, the adopted code consists of 17 standards that had their own set of recommendations,” he added.

However, Lawrence said though compliance with the code was not mandatory, PNGX listed companies were encouraged to establish appropriate corporate governance polices tailored to their operations.

Meanwhile, the National Stock Exchange of PNG (PNGX) has welcomed the capital market reforms announced by International Trade and Investment Minister Richard Maru.

PNGX chairman David Lawrence said the three reforms were significant to grow the PNG capital market as well as make it robust.

Lawrence said the new corporate debt market promoted the development and diversification of the capital market.

“It will allow eligible listed companies as well as State-owned entities to more easily raise debt capital from institutional investors,” he said.

He added the new debt market will provide completion to bank lending in the stock exchange market as well as enable State enterprises to raise funds in the country rather than sourcing funding from donors or the government.

“Raising debt on the new PNGX debt market can also be a first step towards the subsequent raising of equity capital and listing by companies and state enterprises,” he said.

“Foreign listings and Reits are important to expand the market. “They will provide a growing number of retail investors,” he said.