Corporate Governance In Asia: A Comparative Perspective by OECD


Terrible company governance was once pointed out as one of many root explanations of the hot Asian monetary challenge. The absence of potent disciplines on company managers, coupled with advanced and opaque relationships among firms, their vendors ...

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Investors in most countries increasingly accept the proposition that holding an international equity portfolio leads to higher returns and lower risk than a purely domestic portfolio. As a result, many pension funds now allocate a certain portion of their portfolios to international equities while a large number of specialised mutual funds have been developed to allow individuals to participate in foreign equity investment. As of now, this phenomenon of international diversification is mostly visible in countries which already have strong institutional investor communities, but as other countries succeed in developing institutional saving, one would expect it to be generalised.

Ownership and control arrangements are still a part of a society’s core characteristics and will remain to a considerable degree idiosyncratic. More cross-border equity investment and the growth of domestic and international institutions should be expected to result in a better mutual understanding between overseas investors and companies and consequently in an increased capacity for companies to access international sources of finance. Access to finance is one driving source of convergence. The need to align risk and control rights is another.

Although trade liberalisation clearly predates financial market globalisation, its impact on corporate governance has not always been discernible. There seem to be two powerful incentives for better corporate governance connected with the globalisation of product markets as well as with domestic deregulation. The first one is linked to the proposition that in a monopolistic environment there is less of an incentive to promote better corporate 34 governance. A monopolist may be under less pressure to produce profit than a competitive firm and, in any case, will have greater capability to attain profit without basic adaptations of corporate strategy due to relatively weak competitive pressures.

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