Raising the bar

Author: | Published: 28 Aug 2018

Asia is improving corporate governance. But some companies aren’t jumping at the opportunity

Market success hinges on many things, not least strong corporate governance standards. As Asian markets open up to foreign investment, the need for tougher governance is encouraging reform in financial centres across Asia. On the one hand, Asian businesses are facing pressure as domestic investors who have historically been passive when it comes to their investments become more engaged. On the other, foreign investors expanding their portfolios into Asia look for more transparency and accountability.

But cronyism is a common feature in family-owned businesses, and the separation of ownership and management is an aspect Asian businesses still need to work on. Figures show that 85% of Asian businesses are family-owned, and out of the world's largest 500 family- owned businesses, nearly 20% are located in the region.

Recent regulatory changes in a number of Asian countries...