Singapore’s 2009 Governance & Transparency Index (GTI) has revealed a widening gap between companies with best governance practices and poor performers.

The award ranks governance of 680 listed Singapore firms. While top companies such as SingTel continued to improve their scores, others stayed the same. Issues such as risk management and fraud exposure during the financial crisis may have contributed to the scores of lower ranking firms.

Common traits of such low-scorers were long tenures for independent directors, directors sitting on too many boards, and the issue of share options to independent directors.

The results also revealed there is not necessarily a connection between high scores and larger operations, with smaller companies such as Qian Hu aquariums ranking in the Top 20.

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