Manila, the Philippines, June 17, 2016—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a cooperation agreement with the Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines (SharePHIL) to promote good corporate governance including shareholder protection in the country. A more informed investing public and better-run companies will help create a stronger capital market and entice more foreign investment to the Philippines.
Under the agreement, IFC will support SharePHIL in educating investors and shareholders of their rights, duties and responsibilities to advance the development of the Philippine capital market. The signing took place as part of a shareholder rights conference in Manila bringing together around 200 participants, including business executives and high-level directors and corporate governance experts.
“IFC’s support will no doubt help SharePHIL strengthen shareholder protection and contribute to the development of a more robust capital market,” said Evelyn Singson, Chair of SharePHIL. “The promotion and protection of the rights of shareholders, big or small, is good corporate governance.”
IFC will help SharePHIL develop a corporate governance training curriculum and train other professionals to deliver more workshops. The two parties will jointly organize public seminars and conferences to raise market awareness and develop and publish corporate governance-related knowledge products.
“By promoting shareholder protection as a good corporate governance practice, Philippine companies can improve their competitiveness and enhance their ability to attract more investment,” said Yuan (Jane) Xu, IFC Philippines Country Manager. “This will in turn lead to more sustainable economic growth in the Philippines.”
Numerous studies show that investors have greater confidence in companies with good governance and markets backed by sound regulatory regimes. More foreign investment will create jobs, strengthen the business environment, and improve private sector efficacy.
Evelyn Singson and Atty. Francis Lim, chairperson and president of SharePHIL, respectively, jointly said: “We take the cooperation agreement as a vote of confidence of the IFC in SharePHIL and we look forward to closely working with the IFC on promoting corporate governance and minority shareholder protection in the country. These are so essential to gaining investor confidence in our markets for the good of our country and the general public.”
The partnership is part of a country program launched recently by IFC to support the Philippines’ efforts to enhance corporate governance. In May, IFC signed an agreement with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission to improve the country’s regulations and investment climate.
IFC has contributed to the adoption of 95 corporate governance codes, laws, and regulations in more than 30 countries worldwide. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in East Asia and the Pacific is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines
SharePHIL is a non-profit association which aims to become a major catalyst in promoting the development of the capital market by advocating education in order to enlighten investors and shareholders of their rights, duties and responsibilities and to promote shareholder activism in a positive way. With an enlightened investing public, more savings will be attracted to the capital markets and all shareholders, big and small, will be conscious about shareholder promotion and protection. SharePHIL completes the institutional governance infrastructure required to promote capital market development and ensures the creation of a level field.