Email This Print ThisCorporate Governance Report
    (Extracted from Annual Report 2017)

    Stamford Tyres Corporation Ltd ("the Company") is committed to high standards of corporate governance. This Report describes the Company's corporate governance practices with specific reference to the Code of Corporate Governance 2012 (the "Code 2012"). Unless otherwise stated, these practices were in place for the entire financial year.

    Board Matters

    Principle 1 : Board's Conduct of Affairs

    Every company should be headed by an effective Board to lead and control the company. The Board is collectively responsible for the long-term success of the company. The Board works with Management to achieve this objective and Management remains accountable to the Board.

    The Board of Directors (the "Board") oversees the business affairs of the Group and sets overall corporate strategy and direction. It approves the Group's strategic plans, key business initiatives and financial objectives, major investment and divestment and funding proposals. The Board also monitors the operating and financial performance and oversees the processes for risk management, financial reporting and compliance and evaluating the adequacy of internal controls. It approves nominations to the Board. The Board sets the Group's values and standards and ensures that obligations to shareholders and others are understood and met. Matters specifically reserved for Board's decisions are those involving material acquisitions and disposal of assets, corporate or financial restructuring, share issuances and dividends. The Board has adopted a set of internal guidelines on these matters. The Board has delegated certain functions to the Audit Committee ("AC"), Nominating Committee ("NC") and Remuneration Committee ("RC") to assist in the execution of its responsibilities. Each Committee has its own written terms of reference which clearly sets out its objectives, duties, powers and responsibilities and are in line with the Code 2012. Minutes of all Board Committees are circulated to the Board so that directors are aware of and are kept updated as to the proceedings and matters discussed during the Committee meetings.

    Directors are regularly updated on the Group's business and regulatory and industry specific environments in which the Group operates. Directors also have the opportunity to visit the Group's operational facilities here and overseas and meet with Management to gain a better understanding of the Group's global business operations. The Board as a whole is updated regularly on risk management, corporate governance and key changes in the relevant regulatory requirements and accounting standards. Appropriate external trainings will be arranged where necessary. To keep abreast with developments in corporate, financial, legal and other compliance requirements, Directors are encouraged to attend relevant courses, conferences and seminars funded by the Company.

    In order to ensure that the Board is able to fulfil its responsibilities prior to the Board meetings, Management provides the Board with adequate and timely information containing relevant background or explanatory information required to support the decision-making process.

    The Board conducts regular scheduled meetings on a quarterly basis. Ad-hoc meetings will be convened as warranted by circumstances. In between the meetings, important matters concerning the Group may be put to the Board for its decision via circular resolutions for the directors' approval. Management has access to the directors for guidance or exchange of views outside of the formal environment of the Board meetings.

    All directors exercise due diligence and independent judgement and make decisions objectively in the best interests of the Group.

    Directors are briefed on regulatory changes, especially those on the Company's or director's disclosure obligations. In order to ensure that the Board is able to fulfill its responsibilities, prior to the Board meetings, Management provides the Board with information containing relevant background or explanatory information required to support the decision-making process.

    Newly-appointed directors will be given a formal letter explaining his duties and obligations as a director. They will also be briefed by Management on the Group's business, its strategic directions as well as its corporate governance policies. Orientation programmes and familiarisation visits are organised, if necessary, to facilitate a better understanding of the Group's operations.

    The Board has separate and independent access to the Company Secretary at all times. The Company Secretary's appointment and removal is a matter for the Board as a whole. The Company Secretary or her representative attends Board and Committees' meetings and is responsible for ensuring that Board procedures are followed. The Board also has access to independent professional advice, where necessary, at the Company's expense.

    Principle 2 : Board Composition and Guidance

    There should be a strong and independent element on the Board, which is able to exercise objective judgement on corporate affairs independently, in particular, from Management and 10% shareholders. No individual or small group of individuals should be allowed to dominate the Board's decision making.

    The Board comprises eight directors as follows :

    Mr Sam Chong Keen is the non-executive and independent Chairman. The President, Mr Wee Kok Wah and the Executive Director, Mrs Dawn Wee Wai Ying are both executive directors. Dr Wee Li Ann is a non-executive director. Mr Tay Puan Siong, Mr Goh Chee Wee, Mr Leslie Mah Kim Loong and Mr Kazumichi Mandai are non-executive and independent directors. There are no Alternate Directors on the Board.

    The Company's Constitution permits the directors to attend meetings through the use of audio-visual communication equipment.

    Directors' Attendance at Board & Committee Meetings held since May 2016

    There is strong and independent element on the Board. The Board is able to exercise objective judgment independently from Management and no individual or small group of individuals dominate the decisions of the Board.

    The non-executive and independent directors contribute to the Board by monitoring and reviewing Management's performance against goals and objectives. Their views and opinions provide different perspectives to the Group's business. While challenging Management's proposals or decisions, they bring independent judgement to bear on business activities and transactions involving conflicts of interest and other complexities. Where appropriate and necessary, the non-executive directors would also meet without the presence of Management.

    The NC considers the Board's present size and composition appropriate taking into account the nature and scope of the Group's operations, the depth and breadth of knowledge, expertise and business experiences of the directors to govern and manage the Group's affairs and that a majority of the Board is independent. The NC reviews the size of the Board from time to time.

    The Board has no dissenting view on the President's Letter to Shareholders for the financial year in review.

    Principle 3 : Chairman and President

    There should be a clear division of responsibilities between the leadership of the Board and the executives responsible for managing the company's business. No one individual should represent a considerable concentration of power.

    The Chairman is a non-executive appointment and is separate from the office of the President. There is a clear segregation of the roles and responsibilities between the Chairman and the President. As the Chairman and President are not related, no Lead Independent Director was appointed.

    The Chairman provides strategic guidance and leads the Board. He is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of the Board and its governance processes, including the responsibilities of scheduling and setting agendas for Board meetings and control over the quality, quantity and timeliness of information flow between the Board and Management.

    The President provides overall vision and bears full executive responsibility for the Group's operations, including making key day-to-day operational decisions.

    Principle 4 : Board Membership

    There should be a formal and transparent process for the appointment and re-appointment of directors to the Board.

    Principle 5 : Board Performance

    There should be a formal annual assessment of the effectiveness of the Board as a whole and its board committees and the contribution by each director to the effectiveness of the Board.

    The NC comprises three directors, two of whom, including the Chairman, are independent directors. The Committee Chairman is Mr Sam Chong Keen and the other members are Mr Tay Puan Siong and Mr Wee Kok Wah.

    The NC's written key terms of reference describe its responsibilities and these include:

    • reviewing and assessing candidates for directorships (including executive directorships) before nominating such candidates to the Board for approval;
    • reviewing and recommending to the Board the re-election and appointment of directors under the retirement provisions in accordance with the Company's Constitution at each annual general meeting ("AGM");
    • reviewing the composition of the Board annually to ensure that the Board has an appropriate balance of independent directors and ensuring an appropriate balance of expertise, skills, attributes and abilities on the Board;
    • reviewing and determining annually if a director is independent in accordance with the Code 2012 and any other salient factors;
    • where a director has multiple board representations, deciding whether the director is able to and has been adequately carrying out his duties as director; and
    • reviewing the succession plan for directors and key executives of the Group.

    The NC also determines the independence of directors and evaluates and assesses the effectiveness of the Board taking into consideration appropriate performance criteria.

    The Board, through the delegation of its authority to the NC, has used its best efforts to ensure that directors appointed to the Board possess the background, experience and knowledge in technology, business, finance and management skills critical to the Group's businesses and that each director, through his unique contributions, brings to the Board an independent and objective perspective to enable balanced and well-considered decisions to be made.

    The search and nomination process for new directors, if any, will be through search companies, contacts and recommendations that go through the normal selection process, to cast its net as wide as possible for the right candidates. New directors are appointed by the Board after the NC has reviewed and recommended their appointment.

    The NC recommends all appointments and re-nominations of directors to the Board and Board committees. The Company's Constitution provides for one-third of the directors to retire by rotation and be subject to re-election at every AGM. A newly appointed director must also subject himself to retirement and re-election at the AGM immediately following his appointment. The NC, in considering the nomination of any director for re-election will evaluate the performance of the director involved.

    The NC has assessed the independence of the directors based on the definition of independence as set out in the Code 2012. The NC also requires all the independent directors to confirm their independence and their relationship with the other directors, Management and 10% shareholders of the Company by a declaration in writing annually.

    As at 30 April 2017, three independent directors have served on the Board for more than nine years. They are Mr Sam Chong Keen, Mr Tay Puan Siong and Mr Goh Chee Wee. The NC takes the view that a director's independence cannot be determined solely and arbitrarily on the basis of the length of time. A director's contribution in terms of experience, expertise, professionalism, integrity, objectivity and independent judgment in engaging and challenging Management in the best interests of the Group as he performs his duties in good faith, are more critical measures in ascertaining his independence than the number of years served on the Board. Hence, the Board does not impose a limit on the length of service of the independent directors. However, the Board and NC will exercise due and careful review, taking into consideration other factors, in assessing the independence of a director. These factors include, inter alia, if the director has any interest, business, relationship and/or any other material contractual relationships with the Group which could reasonably be perceived to compromise his independence and interfere with the exercise of his independent business judgment with a view to the best interest of the Group.

    After due consideration and careful assessment, the Board, in concurrence with the NC, is of the view that the three independent directors remain independent in their exercise of judgment and objectivity on Board matters as they have each continued to demonstrate strong independence in character and judgement in the discharge of their responsibilities as a director of the Company. They have not hesitated to express their respective viewpoints, objectively raise issues or seek clarification as and when necessary from the Board, Management and the Group's external advisers on matters pertaining to their area of responsibilities whether on Board or on the Committees. The Company has also benefited from their years of experience in their respective fields of expertise. Mr Sam Chong Keen, Mr Tay Puan Siong and Mr Goh Chee Wee have each abstained from the discussion and deliberation during the review of their respective independence.

    The NC and the Board are of the opinion that the directors, who have been classified as independent under the Board Composition section, are indeed independent and the current size of the Board is adequate for the purposes of the Group.

    The NC has established a formal appraisal process to assess the performance and effectiveness of the Board as a whole annually. It focuses on a set of performance criteria which includes the evaluation of the size and composition of the Board, the Board's access to information and Board accountability. The findings of such evaluations were analyzed and discussed with a view to identifying areas for improvement and implementing certain recommendations to further enhance the effectiveness of the Board. In its evaluation, the NC considers the expertise and experience of each Board member, their attendance, participation and contributions to the Board both inside and outside of Board meetings which can be in many forms, including Management's access to him for guidance or exchange of views outside the formal environment of the Board. No external facilitator was engaged by the Board for this purpose.

    The NC has assessed that each director in the Company is able to and has been adequately carrying out his duties as a director of the Company, taking into consideration the director's number of listed company board representations and other principal commitments. The Committee also took into consideration the Company's existing regime of directors being assessed by each other as an additional check and balance on the performance of individual directors and that a director should have self-responsibility to determine whether he is able to discharge his duties properly and effectively as a director when taking on additional listed company board seats. The NC, with concurrence from the Board, had recently adopted a guide that a director should not have in aggregate more than five (5) listed company board representations so as to be able to devote sufficient time and attention to the affairs of the Company. None of the Directors have exceeded this limit.

    The NC has recommended the re-election of Mr Sam Chong Keen and Mr Goh Chee Wee, who are retiring by rotation pursuant to Article 99 of the Company's Constitution. The retiring directors have offered themselves for re-election. Each member of the NC has abstained from voting on any resolutions and making any recommendation and/or participating in respect of matters in which he is interested. The Board has accepted the recommendations of the NC.

    Key information of each director and the dates of their initial appointment and last re-appointment/re-election are set out below:

    * Managing Director is not subject to retirement by rotation (Article 94 of the Company's Constitution)

    The Board believes in carrying out succession planning for itself and its key management staff to ensure continuity of leadership. Currently, there is an informal succession plan in place and the NC will look into drawing up a formal plan at the relevant time.

    Principle 6 : Access to Information

    In order to fulfil their responsibilities, directors should be provided with complete, adequate and timely information prior to board meetings and on an on-going basis so as to enable them to make informed decisions to discharge their duties and responsibilities.

    Directors are given independent and full access to the Management team and Company Secretary, all Board and Board Committees' minutes and all approval and information papers. In between Board meetings, important matters concerning the Company are also put forth to the Board for its decision by way of circular resolutions in writing for the directors' approval together with supporting memoranda to enable the directors to make informed decisions. The Company supports the directors, either individually or as a group, if they require independent professional advice in furthering their duties to the Company and the cost of such advice will be borne by the Company subject to the Board's approval.

    Remuneration Matters

    Principle 7 : Procedures for Developing Remuneration Policies

    There should be a formal and transparent procedure for developing policy on executive remuneration and for fixing remuneration packages of individual directors. No director should be involved in deciding his own remuneration.

    Principle 8 : Level and Mix of Remuneration

    The level and structure of remuneration should be aligned with the long-term interest and risk policies of the company, and should be appropriate to attract, retain and motivate (a) the directors to provide good stewardship of the company, and (b) key management personnel to successfully manage the company. However, companies should avoid paying more than is necessary for this purpose.

    Principle 9 : Disclosure on Remuneration

    Every company should provide clear disclosure of its remuneration policies, level and mix of remuneration, and the procedure for setting remuneration, in the company's Annual Report. It should provide disclosure in relation to its remuneration policies to enable investors to understand the link between remuneration paid to directors and key management personnel, and performance.

    The RC comprises two non-executive and independent directors, and a non-executive director. It is chaired by Mr Sam Chong Keen and the members are Mr Goh Chee Wee and Dr Wee Li Ann.

    The RC's written key terms of reference describe its responsibilities and these include:

    • recommending to the Board, in consultation with the Board Chairman, for endorsement, a comprehensive remuneration policy framework and guidelines for remuneration of the directors and key executives of the Group;
    • recommending specific remuneration packages for each of the directors and the executive directors;
    • in the case of service agreements, considering what compensation commitments the directors' or key executives' contracts of service, if any, would entail in the event of early termination with a view to be fair and avoid rewarding poor performance and to recognise the duty to mitigate loss;
    • approving performance targets for assessing the performance of each of the key executive of the Group and recommending such targets as well as employee specific remuneration packages for each of such key executive for endorsement by the Board; and
    • administering share incentive plans of the Company, if any.

    The RC reviews and recommends to the Board the framework of remuneration for key executives and for directors serving on the Board and Board Committees. The review of specific remuneration packages includes fees, salaries, bonuses and incentives. It also administers the Company's Employee Share Option Schemes and Performance Share Schemes, if any. The Company has no such schemes in place presently.

    Remuneration for key executives are based on corporate and individual performance with certain key executives entitled to profit-sharing bonuses based on certain profit on a realized basis. There are appropriate and meaningful measures in place for the purposes of assessing the performance of the executive directors and key management personnel. Although the recommendations are made in consultation with Management, the remuneration packages are ultimately approved by the Board. No director is involved in deciding his own remuneration.

    In performing its function, the RC endeavours to establish an appropriate remuneration policy to attract, retain and motivate the executive directors and key management personnel whilst at the same time ensuring that the reward in each case takes into account individual performance as well as corporate performance.

    Executive directors have service contracts which include terms for termination under appropriate notice. Non-executive directors are remunerated based on basic fees for serving on the Board and Board Committees. Such fees are recommended for approval by shareholders as a lump sum payment at the AGM.

    At the moment, the Company does not use any contractual provisions to reclaim incentive components of remuneration from executive directors and key management executives in exceptional circumstances of misstatement of financial results, or of misconduct resulting in financial loss to the Company. The RC will consider, if required, whether there is a requirement to institute such contractual provisions to allow the Company to reclaim the incentive components of the remuneration of the executive directors and key management executives paid in prior years in such exceptional circumstances.

    The RC has access to expert professional advice on remuneration matters whenever there is a need to obtain such advice.

    Details of the Company's Employee Share Option Schemes and Share Performance Schemes, if any, will be provided in the Directors' Statement.

    The Board supports and is aware of the need for transparency. However, after deliberation and debate, the Board is of the view that full disclosure of the specific remuneration of each individual director and the Group's key management personnel (who are not directors) is not in the best interest of the Company and therefore shareholders. Inter alia, the Board has taken into account the very sensitive nature of the matter, the relative size of the Group, the highly competitive business environment the Group operates in and the irrevocable negative impact such disclosure may have on the Group.

    Details of remuneration and benefits of directors for the financial year ended 30 April 2017 which will provide sufficient overview of the remuneration of directors are set out below:-

    * Directors' Fees are subject to shareholders' approval at the AGM to be held on 28 August 2017.

    Key Management Personnel

    In the interest of maintaining good morale and a strong spirit of teamwork within the Group, the Company has weighed the advantages and disadvantages of the disclosure relating to the remuneration of the 5 top key management personnel (who are not directors) of the Group for the financial year ended 30 April 2017 and believe that such disclosure may be prejudicial to its business interest given the highly competitive environment it is operating in.

    Immediate Family Members of Directors:

    There is no employee who is an immediate family member of a director or the President and whose remuneration exceeded S$50,000 in the Group's employment for the financial year ended 30 April 2017.

    Accountability and Audit

    Principle 10 : Accountability

    The Board should present a balanced and understandable assessment of the company's performance, position and prospects.

    Principle 11 : Risk Management and Internal Controls

    The Board is responsible for the governance of risk. The Board should ensure that Management maintains a sound system of risk management and internal controls to safeguard shareholders' interests and the company's assets, and should determine the nature and extent of the significant risks which the Board is willing to take in achieving its strategic objectives.

    Principle 12 : Audit Committee

    The Board should establish an Audit Committee ("AC") with written terms of reference which clearly set out its authority and duties.

    Principle 13 : Internal Audit

    The company should establish an effective internal audit function that is adequately resourced and independent of the activities it audits.

    The Board is mindful of the obligation to provide shareholders with a balanced and understandable assessment of the Company's performance, position and prospects including information on all major developments that affect the Group and strives to maintain a high standard of transparency.

    The AC comprises three non-executive and independent directors and a non-executive director. It is chaired by Mr Tay Puan Siong and the members are Mr Sam Chong Keen, Mr Leslie Mah Kim Loong and Dr Wee Li Ann. No former partner or director of the Company's existing auditing firm or auditing corporation is a member of the AC.

    The AC has full authority to investigate matters relating to the Group and any matters within its terms of reference.

    The AC's written key terms of reference describe its responsibilities and these include:

    • assisting the Board of Directors in discharging its statutory responsibilities on financing and accounting matters;
    • reviewing significant financial reporting issues and judgements to ensure the integrity of the financial statements and any formal announcements relating to financial performance;
    • reviewing the scope and results of the audit and its cost effectiveness, and the independence and objectivity of the external auditor;
    • reviewing and evaluating with internal auditors, the adequacy and effectiveness of the system of internal controls, including financial, operational, compliance and information technology controls, and risk management policies and framework;
    • reviewing any interested person transactions as defined in the Listing Manual;
    • appraising and reporting to the Board on the audits undertaken by the external auditor and internal auditor, the adequacy of disclosure of information, and the appropriateness and quality of the system of management and internal controls;
    • making recommendations to the Board on the appointment, re-appointment and removal of the external auditor and internal auditor, and approving the remuneration and terms of engagement of the external auditor and internal auditor; and
    • reviewing whistle-blowing investigations within the Group and ensuring appropriate follow-up action, if required.

    The significant issues considered by the AC in relation to financial statements during the year ended 30 April 2017 are detailed below, alongside the actions taken by the AC to address these issues:

    The AC reviews the scope, the audit plan, the results and effectiveness of both the External and Internal Auditors and has met with the External Auditor and Internal Auditor separately without the presence of management for the year in review.

    To keep abreast of the changes in financial reporting standards and related issues which have a direct impact on financial statements, discussions are held with the External Auditor where applicable, when they attend the AC Meetings.

    The AC, having reviewed the nature and extent of non-audit services provided by Ernst & Young LLP ("EY") and EY member firms, including fees paid in respect of the year ended 30 April 2017, is of the view that the independence and objectivity of EY as External Auditor of the Company has not been compromised.

    The AC has also reviewed and confirmed that EY is a suitable audit firm to meet the Company's audit obligations, having regard to the adequacy of resources and experience of the firm and the assigned audit engagement partner, EY's other audit engagements, size and complexity of the Stamford Tyres Group, number and experience of supervisory and professional staff assigned to the audit. Accordingly, the AC recommended to the Board the re-appointment of EY as External Auditor of the Group for the year ending 30 April 2018. EY has been engaged to audit the accounts of the Company and its Singapore-incorporated subsidiaries. The accounts of the significant foreign-incorporated subsidiaries are audited by EY member firms in the respective countries. The Group has complied with Rules 712 and 715 of the Listing Manual in relation to its auditing firms.

    As proper risk management is a significant component of a sound system of internal control, the Group has put in place a strategic enterprise risk management ("ERM") framework since FY2007. The Board recognises the importance of establishing a formal ERM Framework to facilitate the governance of risks and monitoring the effectiveness of internal controls.

    The Board is cognizant of its responsibility for maintaining a sound system of internal controls to safeguard the investment of its shareholders and the assets and business of the Group. The internal audit function is outsourced to an external professional firm, Yang Lee & Associates ("YLA"). The Internal Auditor conducts regular audit of internal control systems of the Group's companies, recommends necessary improvements and enhancements, and reports directly to the AC. YLA is guided by the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors and staffed with professionals with the relevant qualifications and experience. The AC is satisfied that the Company's internal audit function is adequately resourced to perform the job for the Group.

    The AC examines the effectiveness of the Group's internal control systems. The many assurance mechanisms operating are supplemented by the Internal Auditor's reviews of the effectiveness of the Group's material internal controls, including financial, operational and compliance and information technology controls. Any material non-compliance or failures in internal controls and recommendations for improvements are reported to the AC. The AC reviews the effectiveness of the actions taken by Management on the recommendations made by the Internal Auditor in this respect.

    In addition, the Group has set up an executive Risk Management Committee ("RMC") to oversee that appropriate risk management policies are put in place and there are processes to evaluate the risks monitored under the ERM framework. The RMC, comprising members of the Senior Management team, is responsible for setting the direction of corporate risk management and monitoring the implementation of risk management policies and procedures.

    The RMC has established an enhanced risk management policy to provide guidance to Management on key risk parameters. The significant risks in the Group's business, including mitigating measures, were also reviewed by the RMC and reported to the AC and the Board. Risk registers are maintained by the business and operational units which identify the key risks facing the Group's business and the internal controls in place to manage those risks. These risks have been categorized as strategic, operational, financial or compliance risks and the main areas of financial risk, faced by the Group are foreign currency exchange risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and liquidity risk.

    The RMC together with the President and Group Financial Controller have confirmed to the AC and the Board the adequacy and effectiveness of the risk management system and internal controls.

    The AC, with the assistance of the Internal and External Auditors, reviews and reports to the Board on the adequacy of the Company's system of internal controls, including financial, operational, compliance and information technology controls and taking into consideration the risk management perspective.

    The AC may examine whatever aspects it deems appropriate of the Group's financial affairs, its internal and external audits and its exposure to risks of a regulatory or legal nature. It keeps under review the effectiveness of the Company's system of accounting and internal financial controls, for which the directors are responsible. It also keeps under review the Company's programme to monitor compliance with its legal, regulatory and contractual obligations.

    The Board has received written assurance from the President and Group Financial Controller:

    1. that the financial records have been properly maintained and the financial statements give true and fair view of the Group's operations and finances; and
    2. regarding the effectiveness of the Group's risk management and internal control systems.

    Based on the internal controls established and maintained by the Group, work performed by the Internal Auditor, and the statutory audit conducted by the External Auditor, and reviews performed by Management, Risk Management Committee and various Board committees, the Board, with the concurrence of the AC, is of the opinion that the system of internal controls, including financial, operational, compliance and information technology controls and risk management, were adequate and effective as at 30 April 2017 to meet the needs of the Group's existing business objectives, having addressed the risks which the Group considers relevant and material to its operations. While acknowledging their responsibility for the system of internal controls, the Directors are aware that such a system is designed to manage, rather than eliminate risks, and therefore cannot provide absolute assurance in this regard, or absolute assurance against the occurrence of material errors or mis-statements, poor judgment in decision-making, human errors, losses, fraud or other irregularities.

    Quarterly and full year results are reviewed by the AC prior to their submission to the Board as are interested person transactions that fall within the scope of Chapter 9 of the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST.

    The AC has a "whistle blowing" or Corporate Ethics Compliance policy in place. The policy provides a channel for staff to confidentially report violations of the Group's Code of Ethics, business conduct, and improprieties in financial accounting, trade practices, conflict of interest, employee discrimination, health and safety. Reports can be made on an anonymous basis directly to the AC. Appropriate investigation will be carried out and the informant (if not anonymous) will be informed of the results.

    Risk Management Policies

    The Group has set up objectives to manage the risks that arise from the normal course of its operations. The significant risks are summarised below:

    (i) General business risk

    The Group's major business is distribution of tyres and wheels. The Group is reliant on a few key suppliers for the supply of certain major brand of tyres. Some of these suppliers have granted exclusive distribution rights. Although the Group has a strong relationship with the principals (some exceeding 30 years), there is no assurance that the principals will continue to appoint the Group as their exclusive distribution agent in the future. Should any of the major principals decide to discontinue the distribution rights in the future, the Group could lose some of its market share and this could then have an adverse financial impact on the Group. To mitigate this risk, the Group has been focusing on developing its own range of proprietary ‘in-house' brands like Sumo Firenza, Sumo Tire and SSW to become less reliant on its principals.

    As in any other business environment, the Group's assets are exposed to various risks arising from normal operations and natural disasters. In particular, the Group's inventory is highly flammable and susceptible to the risk of fire. It is the Group's practice to annually assess these risks and/or exposure to ensure that the Group is protected from potential monetary loss. In addition to other preventive measures, the Group ensures that adequate insurance coverage is maintained at all times to mitigate such risks except where the cost of insuring the asset is considered prohibitive in relation to the risks identified.

    (ii) Product liability claims

    The Group is exposed to claims from its customers from products sold by the Group which contain defects or found to be unfit for their intended use. The Group may be required to make financial compensation to its customers in such circumstances. The Group's principals are well established in the market place and their products are usually tested for safety before being marketed. The Group continues to spend considerable effort in ensuring the quality of its products and services. The Group provides its employees with relevant training, on a regular basis, to uphold the quality of services provided to its customers. The Group has no history of any significant claim made by its customers.

    (iii) Credit and inventory risk

    The Group faces normal business risks associated with collection of trade receivables and inventory obsolescence. The Group's exposure to credit risks arises mainly from sales made to distributors and retailers in various geographical locations. The Group has tight credit control policies and procedures to evaluate the credit worthiness of customers before credit is granted and to prevent significant concentration of credit risk. The Group also has adequate policies and procedures to minimise the risk of inventory obsolescence. The risk of inventory obsolescence may arise from changes in consumer preference and technology. It is the Group's policy to maintain optimum inventory level at all times. Inventory level is monitored regularly and slow moving inventories are quickly identified for early disposal. The Group has also put in place a ‘supply chain management' system to procure inventories in an effective manner to prevent excess inventories on hand.

    Communication with Shareholders

    Principle 14 : Shareholders' Rights

    Companies should treat all shareholders fairly and equitably, and should recognise, protect and facilitate the exercise of shareholders' rights, and continually review and update such governance arrangements.

    Principle 15 : Communication with Shareholders

    Companies should actively engage their shareholders and put in place an investor relations policy to promote regular, effective and fair communication with shareholders.

    Principle 16 : Conduct of Shareholders' Meetings

    Companies should encourage greater shareholder participation at general meetings of shareholders, and allow shareholders the opportunity to communicate their views on various matters affecting the company.

    The Company does not practise selective disclosure. Shareholders are kept informed of the developments in the Group's businesses and operations through announcements via SGXnet as well as through the annual report. Announcements are made as soon as possible to ensure timely dissemination of the information to shareholders and the public. Results and the annual reports are announced or issued within the mandatory periods. To further enhance its communication with investors, the Company's website www.stamfordtyres.com allows the public to access information on the Group directly.

    Shareholders are encouraged to attend the Company's general meetings to ensure a greater level of shareholder participation and for them to be kept up to date on the strategies and goals of the Group. All shareholders of the Company receive a copy of the Annual Report, Notice of AGM and circulars and notices pertaining to any Extraordinary General Meetings of the Company.

    To facilitate participation by shareholders, the Company's Constitution allows shareholders to attend and vote at general meetings of the Company by proxies. A shareholder who is not a relevant intermediary is entitled to appoint not more than two proxies to attend, speak and vote at the general meetings while a member who is a relevant intermediary is entitled to appoint more than two proxies to attend, speak and vote at the general meetings through proxy forms deposited 48 hours before the meeting. Notices of general meetings are also advertised in newspapers and available on the SGX-ST's website.

    Every matter requiring shareholders' approval is proposed as a separate resolution. Each item of special business included in the notice of meeting is accompanied, where appropriate, by an explanation for the proposed resolution. As authentication of shareholder identity information and other related security issues still remain a concern, the Company has decided, for the time being, not to implement voting in absentia by mail, facsimile or email. Participation of shareholders is encouraged at the AGM through the open question and answer session. The Directors, Management and External Auditor are available to address any queries or concerns on matters relating to the Group and its operations.

    For greater transparency, the Company implemented poll voting since 2012. This entails shareholders being invited to vote on each resolution by poll thereby allowing all shareholders present or represented at the meeting to vote on a one share, one vote basis. The detailed voting results of all votes cast for, or against, each resolution tabled, are announced at the meeting and via SGX-ST's website.

    Dividend Policy

    While the Company has not formally instituted a dividend policy, it has a good track record of paying annual dividends to shareholders. In proposing any dividend payout and/or determining the form, frequency and/or the amount of such dividend payout, the Board will take into account, inter alia, the Group's financial position, retained earnings, results of operation and cash flow, the Group's expected working capital requirements, the Group's expected capital expenditure and future expansion and investment plans and other funding requirements, general economic conditions and other internal or external factors that may have an impact on the business or financial performance and position of the Group.

    The Board endeavours to maintain a balance between meeting shareholders' expectations and prudent capital management with a sustainable dividend payout.

    Internal Code on Dealings With Securities

    The Group has adopted an internal code which prohibits the Company, directors and employees of the Group from dealings in securities of the Company while in possession of price-sensitive information, and during the period commencing two weeks and one month before the announcement of the quarterly and full year results respectively, and ending on the date of announcement. In addition, directors and employees are expected to observe insider trading laws at all times even when dealing in securities within the permitted period.

    It also discourages dealings on short-term considerations. Directors and employees are required to report securities dealings to the Company Secretary who will assist to make the necessary announcements.

    Interested Person Transactions

    The Group has established procedures to ensure that all transactions with interested persons are reported in a timely manner to the AC and that the transactions are conducted at arm's length basis and on normal commercial terms and will not be prejudicial to the interests of the Company and its shareholders. All interested person transactions are subject to review by the AC to ensure compliance.

    During the year, the following interested person transactions were entered with a company in which the two executive directors are also directors/shareholders and have substantial financial interest:-

    (1) Mr Wee Kok Wah, Mrs Dawn Wee Wai Ying and Dr Wee Li Ann are directors/shareholders of Wah Holdings Pte Ltd.

    The Company does not have a shareholders' mandate for interested person transactions pursuant to Rule 920 of the Listing Manual.