Article

Netherlands: Belgian listed companies improve corporate governance scores

04 April 2013

Over the past three years, Belgian listed companies have made considerable progress in complying with corporate governance rules. This is the conclusion of the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) following its third study on compliance with corporate governance rules by Belgian listed companies.

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Belgian listed companies must respect the Belgian Corporate Governance Code, also known as the 2009 Code, in accordance with the "comply or explain" approach. This means that companies which do not comply fully with the 2009 Code must explain why they do not do so.

Certain rules of the 2009 Code have been integrated into the Belgian Company Code. These rules do not allow for exceptions. One example is the obligation for listed companies to establish a remuneration committee and prepare a remuneration report.

The FSMA noted that Belgian listed companies have made considerable progress in complying with the corporate governance rules. According to the FSMA, this heighted compliance can be explained by the fact that a number of corporate governance principles are now statutory obligations. Some 86% of all listed companies comply with the obligation to publish a separate remuneration report (a 39% improvement compared to the first study). The FSMA concludes its study with a list of recommendations, intended to facilitate compliance by listed companies with corporate governance rules.

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