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Pwint Thit Sa 2022

The seventh Pwint Thit Sa/Transparency in Myanmar Enterprises (TiME) report was published on 20th February 2023.

2022 Report – English version

Pwint Thit Sa/Transparency in Myanmar Enterprises (TiME) reports assess information disclosure on the corporate websites of Myanmar companies. The objective is to incentivise greater publication of corporate governance (CG) and other information by Myanmar companies through publicly recognising them for their disclosure and transparency. It remains the most extensive public report published about the state of corporate disclosure (CD) in Myanmar.

MCRB published the first Pwint Thit Sa report in July 2014, and further reports were published in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Since 2018, the report has covered an expanded number of companies, and used criteria aligned with the emerging corporate governance agenda in Myanmar, and specifically the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS). As in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the 2022 report has been jointly authored by MCRB and Yever, whose contribution is pro bono.

The 2022 report continues the methodological approach adopted since 2018 by drawing heavily on the ACGS, using 71 of its most relevant criteria. The ACGS was developed by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum, of which Myanmar’s Securities and Exchange Commission is a member. It is used widely in the region to assess disclosure of corporate governance by large companies. However not all ACGS criteria have been used for Pwint Thit Sa and the methodology also sources from other international standards. Since 2019, some additional performance criteria concerning sustainability and its relationship to the company’s business model have been added, aligned with the Integrated Reporting Framework.

The scoring methodology once again assesses four dimensions – Corporate Profile, Corporate Governance, Sustainability Management and Reporting – using 151 criteria (see Annex to the report). For 2022 a few additional criteria were added related to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing political crisis.

Myanmar regulatory requirements for corporate governance and disclosure were summarised in the 2020 Pwint Thit Sa report, and are not substantially changed.  For most companies in this study, with the exception of those who are publicly listed and ‘public companies’ with more than 100 shareholders and banks, there is no Myanmar legal requirement to disclose any of this information on their website.  However, disclosure can help a company to obtain a competitive edge with potential business partners and investors whose first research on a company may involve looking at their website. This year, the methodology has been further strengthened to distinguish between where companies have a legal obligation to disclose and where private companies are choosing to do so. To incentivize disclosure beyond compliance, bonus points were added where companies volunteered to disclose information such as financial statements.

Pwint Thit Sa 2022 assessed 271 companies of which 31 are banks. These include:

  • 7 companies listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), of which 2 are banks
  • 45 public companies – of which 8 are banks – identified by the SECM as regulated by them because they have more than 100 shareholders
  • 191 privately owned companies – of which 17 are banks – who either:
    • paid significant commercial and/or Income tax according to the latest top 1,000 Myanmar companies taxpayers list issued by the Internal Revenue Department
    • are well-known or influential in Myanmar, or
    • volunteered to participate
  • 28 State-owned Economic Enterprises (SEEs), of which 4 are banks

A webinar was held in September 2021 to explain methodology to those companies which MCRB/Yever were able to contact by email/mail. A first assessment of websites against the criteria was undertaken in Q4 2021, and draft scores were shared with companies in hard copy and by email in January 2022. In February 2022, initial findings were shared in a webinar and companies were invited to have individual discussion on their draft scores and receive specific feedback on how to improve their disclosure. Thirty-nine companies met with the assessment team.  The initial deadline of May 2022 for updating websites before the final scoring was extended on request. In December 2022, scores were finalized by Yever and cross checked by MCRB.

Results show that the average score in 2022 was 8% compared to 7% in 2020: overall disclosure has slightly improved, with some leading companies rising to the challenge of disclosing more data related to Corporate Governance (CG), sustainability management and reporting on their performance. The three companies in 2022 which score highest on corporate disclosure are City Mart Holdings Limited (CMHL), uab and FMI (First Myanmar Investment). Listed companies, which scored average 40%, are outperforming public (6%) and private companies (8%). However, the variance within each category is significant. A comparison of scores between the years shows that average score by category mostly improved, except for SEEs and public companies which scores remain stable compared to 2020. The Top 30 companies are listed in the Results section. MCRB and Yever plan to publish an online tool to show how the scores of all companies assessed have evolved since 2018.

As ever, this survey and the ranking it produces is limited by the fact that it only uses publicly available information provided by the companies. It does not assess the quality or detailed performance of the company or the accuracy of the data, something which requires the assurance of an independent expert audit. To combat the risk of companies adopting a tickbox or cut-paste approach, more marks were given for some criteria relating to policies and sustainability to reflect how closely a company’s policy commitment was genuinely aligned to the business. Furthermore, MCRB and Yever’s direct engagement with companies suggested that those who have higher scores are also those developing a stronger corporate governance culture and understanding of sustainability.

In 2023, MCRB and Yever plan to continue to support interested companies to improve their policies, reporting, disclosure, and website accessibility – including for persons with disability – and to complement the training provided by the Myanmar Institute of Directors on corporate governance. A further Pwint Thit Sa report may be produced in 2024.

Research Phase for Pwint Thit Sa 2022 kicks off with a message that transparency and stakeholder engagement is more important than ever.

Yever is partnering with Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) to develop the seventh report of Pwint Thit Sa like the previous years.

The objective of Pwint Thit Sa is to help companies maintain/improve the transparency practices during this challenging time. The familiar methodology is barely changed, and we hope that this will make it easier for companies being assessed to build on their previous disclosures.

In 2020, we benchmarked 260 companies. Pwint Thit Sa 2022 is expected to assess over 270 companies in the same categories as in 2020:

  • Companies listed at Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX)
  • Public Companies with more than 100 shareholders
  • Financial Institutions
  • Top 100 Taxpayers (using the latest available data for the six-month Financial Year in 2019)
  • State-Owned Enterprises
  • Other influential Enterprises

This year, in addition to banks, insurance companies will be included in the Financial Institutions category. Banks will be scored according to the same methodology as Listed and Public companies when it comes to information which they are required to disclose in accordance with Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) regulations.

The list of companies to be assessed is available here.

As in the previous year, medium-sized and large companies who do not fall in the above categories are encouraged to volunteer to be benchmarked, and subject to their agreement, included in the Pwint Thit Sa report.

The 2022 report will cover disclosure of the same four types of information as the December 2020 report:

  • corporate profile
  • corporate governance
  • sustainability management
  • reporting.

Five new criteria have been added and seven updated, making a total of 151 criteria (143 in PTS 2020). The new criteria mainly relate to the twin crises of Covid-19 and the political crisis, and the need for companies to communicate on how these are impacting their business strategy, and how they are engaging with their stakeholders during these crises.

The full set of criteria are available here.  More details are in the introductory presentation.

Letters are currently being sent to the companies concerned to inform them of the methodology and timetable for the 2022 report.

A draft assessment will be sent to companies in January 2022, giving them the opportunity to discuss their first assessment results and enhance disclosure in advance of the final deadline in June 2022.

We aim for the seventh Pwint Thit Sa report to issue in September 2022.

“FIRST DRAFT SCORES FOR PWINT THIT SA 2022 SHOW THAT COMPANY COMMUNICATION WAS NOT PRIORITISED IN 2021”

Yever and MCRB have concluded the first round of scoring for the Pwint Thit Sa (Transparency in Myanmar Enterprises) 2022 report. 

The 269 companies which are being assessed have been emailed their draft scores and invited to review them. Companies will now have a further three-month period to enhance their disclosure on corporate governance and sustainability, and raise their scores in the 7th Pwint Thit Sa report which will be published after August 2022.

In the preliminary assessment, the average score of Myanmar companies stood at 6%, a slight decline from 7% in the 6th report published December 2020. For the top 10 companies, the average score fell from 70% in 2020 to 60%.

The assessment  found that most  companies did not update their websites and/or have not yet released an annual report for FY20-21. For instance, only 0.7% of the companies surveyed disclosed a sustainability report in 2021.

Number of companiesAverage score
(2020 final score in brackets)
Top 101060% (70%)
Publicly listed companies736% (39%)
Banks3110% (12%)
Insurance companies126% (13%)
Privately owned companies1836% (7%)
Public companies515% (5%)
State-owned enterprises282% (2%)

While the first assessment scores are similar to the 2020 results, the updated methodology no longer gives bonus points to private banks for disclosing information that banks must disclose according to Central Bank directives. As a result, average bank scores have fallen to 10% (from 12% in 2020). This has also impacted on the Top 10, which in 2020 included three banks: UAB, Yoma and KBZ. Furthermore, in 2022, all insurance companies were included in the study, rather than only the most significant ones. This, combined with a more stringent assessment, explains the significant decrease in the average score of insurance companies from 135 in 2020 to 6% for the first 2022 assessment.

COVID-19 and the ongoing political and economic crises are major risks with significant impacts for most, if not all, companies. While many have risen to the challenges, few have disclosed the steps they have taken. More transparency on how companies have responses could help build trust with key stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, etc.).

Next steps include a webinar for all companies on 9 February, and the offer of individual consultations with the MCRB-Yever team on how to enhance company disclosure and transparency and increase the final score which will be assessed on the basis of information on websites in May.

On the basis of this final review, each company will be ranked according to their published data and finalise the Pwint Thit Sa report for publication after August 2022.

Pwint Thit Sa 2022’s first assessment result sharing event

We organized an online event with the companies to share the overall result of the first assessment for our 2022 research phase and invite them to organize a one-on-one (free of charge) discussion with us to leverage their corporate transparency before the end of April 2022.

You can see the video record of the discussion here.

You can also check the presentation here.