WSE Launches “Best Practice of GPW Listed Companies 2016”

  • The Exchange Supervisory Board has approved a new code of corporate governance “Best Practice of GPW Listed Companies 2016”
  • The new rules enter into force on 1 January 2016

On 13 October, the Exchange Supervisory Board passed a resolution approving a new code of corporate governance “Best Practice of GPW Listed Companies 2016”. The new rules enter into force on 1 January 2016. “The “Best Practice of GPW Listed Companies 2016” builds upon and incorporates the tradition of the Polish corporate governance movement, which was initially formalised in the “Best Practices of Public Companies 2002.” I am glad that GPW continues the good tradition and aligns it with the current market reality and the European regulations. The modifications of the Code of Best Practice aim to further enhance the quality of listed companies in terms of corporate governance standards,” said Wiesław Rozłucki, Chairman of the Exchange Supervisory Board.

The Best Practice 2016 was developed by experts representing different groups of capital market participants grouped in the GPW Corporate Governance Consultation Committee. The Committee brings together the following institutions: the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), the Association of Individual Investors (SII), the Association of Listed Companies (SEG), the Chamber of Pension Fund Companies (IGTE), and the Polish Institute of Directors (PID). Furthermore, the following Committee members took part in this effort: Paweł Gładysz, Leszek Koziorowski, Andrzej S. Nartowski, Andrzej Sołdek, Krzysztof Szułdrzyński. The work of the Committee was headed by Agnieszka Gontarek, Director of the GPW Listing Department, with the support of Janusz Sochański of the GPW Listing Department.

The draft document was released for public consultations with the participation among others of issuers and exchange investors.

As we respect the contribution of different organisations and institutions to building strong corporate governance in the Polish capital market, we wanted the new Code of Best Practice to be developed by market participants. The Exchange is a custodian of the document but is has been drafted by market participants for the market. We expect that shareholders of listed companies will contribute to the monitoring of compliance with the Code,” said Paweł Tamborski, President of the GPW Management Board.

To address comments raised by the recipients of the Best Practice 2016, the new document clarifies a number of existing rules and imposes stricter requirements in selected key areas of corporate governance. At the same time, it follows the principle of adequacy by aligning the rules with the ability of companies of different sizes to ensure compliance. The document also includes issues previously not covered by the corporate governance rules. All modifications of the Best Practice ensure continuation of the rules contained in the previous version of the Code.

To ensure transparency of the document and highlight the key issues, the Code is divided into new thematic sections. The new structure of the document follows the recommendations of the European Commission.

Upon the entry into force of the Best Practice 2016, the Exchange will monitor issuers’ compliance with the corporate governance rules with a special emphasis on the quality of explanations published by companies in line with the “comply or explain” approach.

To address issuers’ expectations, the Exchange is working on a manual which will clarify the recommendations and rules; we are also developing technical solutions to facilitate compliance of companies with the reporting obligations under the corporate governance rules. GPW will also launch educational initiatives. The first seminar focused on the modifications of the Best Practice will take place next Thursday, 15 October, at the 18th Supervisory Board Forum.