Inve$t | Market Sentiments | 25 November 2022
Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah called on Malaysian corporations to establish and maintain a corporate sustainability open data (CSOD) online platform that consists of relevant data on all sustainability-related issues, which is accessible to the public. Transparent provision of credible and comprehensive sustainability data should become an essential aspect of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments by corporations. It should be undertaken voluntarily by companies, going beyond the mandatory sustainability reporting schemes that most corporations are already subject to. Sultan Nazrin was speaking in a royal address at the GO ESG Asean Summit 2022. His Royal Highness added that the CSODs should also provide information on the companies’ future sustainability goals, so that the public can keep track of their implementation and progress.
A good example of a CSOD already in operation is ESGenome, which was launched by the Singapore Exchange. This portal facilitates the reporting of ESG data in a structured and efficient manner. The data made available on ESGenome can be freely accessed by investors and other stakeholders, thereby helping them to make informed decisions relating to their investments and corporate evaluations. The corporate sector is urged to make significant contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by acting more responsibly and harnessing its own resources, including human capital, technology, and innovation. Companies and government departments across Asean must be able to demonstrate convincingly to their populations that all policies being developed to address the climate crisis are fully justified by the data. They must also be able to show that they are following through these policies in practice, and meeting the targets that have been set. All of this is only possible through the use of credible, transparent, and longitudinal sources of data. His Royal Highness stressed the importance of data gathering and dissemination — a process sometimes termed “data curation” — noting that data modalities that have been used traditionally must be diversified to address the deficit of quality data on sustainability-related matters.
Dissemination of such enhanced and expanded data sets would also help create greater awareness of the climate crisis and all its complexities, beyond the realm of sustainability and development specialists. This could displace the repetition of rhetorical pleas, and help to secure buy-in to the sustainability agenda from a broader range of stakeholders, including government agencies, corporates, non-governmental organisations, and the general public. The one-day GO ESG Asean Summit 2022 aims to highlight the key role of ESG data in accelerating the region’s sustainability agenda. The theme was Data Driven Sustainability: Accelerating ESG Impact for Asean.
Executives, non-executives’ salaries expected to increase by 5.4pc in 2023 – MEF
According to a survey by the Malaysian Employers Federation, salaries for executives and non-executives in Malaysia are expected to increase by 5.44 per cent and 5.43 per cent, respectively, in 2023. President Syed Hussain Husman, told reporters after officiating the 28th edition of the MEF Salary Surveys for Executives and Non-Executives on Wednesday (Nov 23). He said approximately 90 per cent of companies surveyed attributed employees’ performance as the main criteria for determining executive and non-executive salary increases. The business respondents seemed to be positive that Malaysia’s economy is generally going to be stable next year despite the expectation of a global recession. This was on the back of positive recovery of most businesses since the reopening of the economy after the (Covid-19) pandemic. He added the survey also indicated that 93 per cent of employers granted salary increases to executive and non-executive employees in 2022, which was a significant increase from 65.2 per cent and 66.4 per cent, respectively, in 2021.
Syed Hussain said the survey showed that the average salary increases for executives and non-executives in 2022 was 5.26 per cent and 5.35 per cent, respectively, with more than 80 per cent of the responding companies granting bonuses. The forecast for bonuses in 2023 is 2.18 and 2.06 monthly salary for executives and non-executives, respectively, which was higher than the actual bonus in 2022 of 2.06 months and 1.77 months, respectively.
The MEF president said the survey also covered the implementation of the Minimum Wages Order 2022, which increased the minimum wage to RM1,500 per month and impacted 70.3 per cent of the companies surveyed. He said those companies not affected by the new minimum wage cited that the main reason was that their employees’ salaries had already surpassed the minimum level. He added 53.4 per cent of the respondent companies also anticipated an increase in their overall salary or wage costs following the implementation of the new minimum wage. He said 59.7 per cent of the respondent companies planned to reduce their operating expenses to mitigate the impact of the new minimum wage while another 48.8 per cent cited an increase in the price of their products or services as their adopted measure. Another 43.8 per cent of respondent companies intend to implement cost-cutting measures in other areas of production while 36.8 per cent intend to shift from labour-intensive to technology-intensive production.
Commenting on the current shortage of employees in the country, executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said the situation needed to be addressed quickly as Malaysia is now competing with other countries to get foreign workers. Employers cannot totally depend on the government to resolve this problem. They must also step up efforts to modernise their operations by adopting new technologies to attract local workers.
The MEF Salary Survey for Executives saw 252 companies responding from the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors while 250 member companies participated in the Salary Survey for Non-Executives. Apart from the salary surveys, the MEF also launched the MEF Fringe Benefits Survey 2022 and the Analysis of Collective Agreements and Awards on Terms and Conditions of Employment 2021.
Eye On The Markets
This week, on Friday (25Nov), the Ringgit opened at 4.4780 against the USD from 4.5825 on Monday (21Nov). Meanwhile, the Ringgit was 3.2535 to the Sing Dollar on Friday (25Nov). On Monday (21Nov), the FBM KLCI opened at 1434.55. As at Friday (25Nov) 10:00am, the FBM KLCI is up 50.53 points for the week at 1485.08. Over in US, markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.