BHG Retail REIT (the "REIT") is a trust constituted by a deed of trust dated 18 November 2015 (as amended and supplemented) (the "Trust Deed") entered into between BHG Retail Trust Management Pte. Ltd. (the "Manager"), as manager of the REIT, and DBS Trustee Limited (the "Trustee"), as trustee of the REIT. The Trust Deed outlines certain circumstances under which the Manager can be removed, including by notice in writing given by the Trustee upon the occurrence of certain events, or by resolution passed by a simple majority of Unitholders of the REIT (the "Unitholders") present and voting at a meeting of the Unitholders duly convened and held in accordance with the provisions of the Trust Deed.
As an entity regulated by the Securities and Futures Act 2001 ("SFA"), the Code on Collective
Investment Schemes (the "CIS Code"), the Listing Manual of Singapore Exchange Securities Trading
Limited ("SGX-ST"), and other regulations, the Manager is committed to upholding good standards
of corporate governance.
The board of directors (the "Board" or "Director") of the Manager has ensured corporate governance practices in line with the Code of Corporate Governance 2018 (the "2018 Code") were implemented. The Manager has further ensured that it remains in compliance with the other regulations, notices, circulars
and guidelines that may be released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") from time to time.
This corporate governance report ("Report") describes the corporate governance practices with specific
reference to the 2018 Code. Where there are deviations from the principles and provisions of the 2018
Code, explanations are provided within this Annual Report. This Report also sets out additional policies
and practices adopted by the Manager which are not provided in the 2018 Code.
The Manager has general powers of management over the assets of the REIT, and is responsible for
setting the strategic direction of the REIT. The Manager's primary responsibility is to manage the assets
and liabilities of the REIT for the benefit of the Unitholders of the REIT. Broadly, the Manager's strategy is:
- Active Asset Management - Driving organic growth and building long-lasting relationships with tenants;
- Active Asset Enhancement - Implementing enhancement opportunities to enhance cash flow and value of the properties;
- Acquisition Growth - Achieving portfolio growth through acquisition of quality income producing retail properties; and
- Sound Capital and Risk Management - Appropriate mix of debt and equity financing to maintain a strong and robust statement of financial position.
The Manager is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing Hualian Department Store Co., Ltd.
(the "Sponsor"), an established China-based home-grown retail property operator. The Sponsor has
extensive experience and expertise in asset management, which the REIT is able to leverage on in order
to achieve its objectives.
The Board's Conduct of Affairs
Principle 1: The company is headed by an effective Board which is collectively responsible and works with
Management for the long-term success of the company.
The Board, which is responsible for the long-term success of the REIT, is entrusted with overall responsibility
for the corporate governance of the Manager. The Board is also responsible for the strategic business
direction and risk management of the REIT. To this end, the Board has set in place a framework of internal
controls for effective management of risks within the business. All Directors exercise reasonable diligence
and independent judgment when making decisions and are obliged to act honestly and consider the
interests of the Manager and the REIT at all times. The Board recognises that Directors owe fiduciary
duties to the Manager and should act objectively in the best interests of the Manager and hold the
management team of the Manager ("Management") accountable for performance.
As part of providing overall leadership to the REIT and its subsidiaries (the "Group"), the Board sets the
appropriate tone from the top, desired organisational culture, and ensures proper accountability within
the Manager. The Board also advises Management on the desired culture of the Group and monitors
Management's implementation of such culture. The Board and Management are guided by a Code of
Conduct and Ethics which provides that every Director and member of Management is expected to,
among other things, adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct.
At all times, the Directors are collectively and individually obliged to act honestly and with diligence,
and in the best interests of the REIT. The Manager requires that its Directors disclose their interests in
transactions and any conflicts of interests. The Directors must recuse themselves from any discussions
and decisions concerning a matter in which they may be in a conflict of interest situation. Each of the
Directors has complied with the above.
The Board has authority to approve or endorse certain matters, including:
- Material transactions, such as acquisitions and divestments;
- Annual budgets;
- Periodic financial reports; and
- Appointment of Directors and key management personnel of the Manager ("KMP").
The Manager has established internal guidelines setting forth matters that require the Board's approval
including business strategies and proposals, investment acquisitions and disposals, borrowings and
financing arrangements, budgets, project development and capital and operating expenditures. Such
matters which have been approved by the Board are clearly communicated to Management in writing.
Apart from matters that specifically require the Board's approval, the Board delegates authority for
transactions below those limits to Board committees and Management to optimize operational efficiency.
All Directors exercise reasonable diligence and independent judgement when making decisions and are
obliged to act honestly and consider the interests of the Manager at all times.
To facilitate proper discharge of its functions, the Board has established the following committees:
- Audit and Risk Committee ("ARC"); and
- Nominating and Remuneration Committee (the "NRC") (collectively, the "Board Committees").
The Board Committee members are appointed from within the ranks of the Board, and operate
on delegated authority from the Board. The Board Committees have been constituted with clear
written terms of reference approved by the Board and may decide on matters within its terms of
reference and applicable limits of authority. The terms of reference of the respective Board
Committees set out their compositions, authorities and duties, including reporting back to
the Board. All terms of reference are reviewed and updated when necessary to ensure their
continued relevance. Notwithstanding the delegation of authority to the Board Committees, the
ultimate responsibility for decision-making and oversight rests with the Board as a whole.
The composition of the various Board Committees, the terms of reference, any delegation of
the Board's authority to make decisions and a summary of each committee's activities are set out
in this Corporate Governance section of the Annual Report.
The Board and the ARC meet on a semi-annual basis to review key business activities. The NRC meets at
least annually. Where it is not possible for a Director to attend in person, that Director may participate via
teleconferencing, video conferencing, or other similar means of telecommunication. In each meeting where
matters requiring the Board's approval are to be considered, all members of the Board attend and actively
participate in the discussions and deliberations, and resolutions in writing are circulated to all Directors for
their consideration and approval. A Director with multiple directorships is expected to ensure that sufficient
time and attention can be and is given to the affairs of the Manager in managing the assets and liabilities
of the REIT for the benefit of Unitholders. Two Board meetings were held during the financial year ended 31
December 2022 ("FY 2022"). The number of such meetings and the attendance of each of the Directors at
Board meetings and Board Committee meetings are set out at page 33 of this Annual Report.
Provision 1.5 of the 2018 Code requires Directors to attend and actively participate in Board and board
committee meetings. The number of such meetings and each individual director's attendances at such
meetings are disclosed in page 33 of this Annual Report. Directors with multiple board representations
ensure that sufficient time and attention are given to the affairs of each company.
The Manager provides the Board with complete, adequate and timely information prior to Board
meetings, and on an ongoing basis, to enable the Directors to make informed decisions to discharge
their duties and responsibilities. This includes periodic business updates, financial reports and
financial statements from the Manager. The Manager's executives and external consultants may also
provide presentations on specific business areas. Further, the Board has separate and independent
access to Management and the company secretary of the Manager ("Company Secretary") at
the Manager's expense, at all times. The Company Secretary attends to corporate secretarial
administration matters and attends all Board and Board Committee meetings. The Board also
has access to external advisers where necessary and when requested at the Manager's expense.
The appointment and removal of the Company Secretary is a matter for the Board to decide as a whole. This
ensures that the Directors are not dependent solely on what is recommended by the Manager.
At each Board meeting, the Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") provides updates on the REIT's
business and operations, as well as financial performance. Presentations in relation to specific
business areas are also made by key executives and external consultants or experts. This allows
the Directors to understand the Manager's business as well as their directorship duties (including
their roles as non-executive and independent directors) and also promotes active engagement
between the Board and the key executives of the Manager.
Updates and changes to regulatory requirements that bear relevance to the REIT are monitored
and reported to the Board during the meeting. Where necessary and expedient, the Board may
be briefed on urgent updates via circulars.
Induction, training and development programmes are provided to new and existing Directors. These
programmes aim to familiarise the new Director with his or her duties as a director and how to discharge
those duties, the laws and regulations that govern the operation of a REIT, and to familiarise the new
Director with the REIT's business and organisation structure and governance practices. Following their
appointment, Directors are provided with opportunities to develop and maintain their skills and knowledge
at the Manager's expense and to keep abreast of developments in areas such as Director's duties and
responsibilities, changes to laws, regulations, accounting standards, and industry-related matters so as to
be updated on matters that may affect or enhance their performance as Directors of the Board, or of the
Board Committees. In FY 2022, all the Directors attended training on sustainability reporting as prescribed
by SGX-ST, and were briefed and updated on new notices and guidelines issued by MAS, as well as changes
to the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST.
The Directors and executive officers have appropriate experience and expertise to manage the REIT's
business. New Directors, who have no prior experience as a director of a public listed entity listed on
the SGX-ST, will undergo training in the roles and responsibilities of a director of a public listed entity in
Singapore as prescribed by the SGX-ST.
Newly appointed Directors will be provided with a formal letter of appointment setting out their
duties and obligations.
Board Composition and Guidance
Principle 2: The Board has an appropriate level of independence and diversity of thought and background in its composition to enable it to make decisions in the best interests of the company.
The Board presently comprises five (5) members, all of whom are Non-Executive Directors such that Non-Executive Directors make up a majority of the Board and of which three (3) are Independent Directors:
|Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung||Chairman/ Non-Executive Independent Director|
|Mr Ben Yeo Chee Seong||Non-Executive Independent Director|
|Mr Lau Teck Sien||Non-Executive Independent Director|
|Mr Xiong Zhen||Non-Executive Non-Independent Director|
|Mr Peng Ge||Non-Executive Non-Independent Director|
Although the majority of the Board comprises Independent Directors, the Manager is not required to
have the majority of Board as Independent Directors as the Chairman is independent.
Each Director is a respected individual with the appropriate experience to act as the Directors of the
Manager. The profiles of the Directors may be found from page 17 to 19 of the Annual Report. The
Board is headed by Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung, who presides as Chairman. The Board reviews from time
to time the size and composition of the Board, with a view to ensuring the Board has the appropriate
mix of expertise and experience and that the size of the Board is appropriate in facilitating effective
decision making and constructive debate, taking into account the scope and nature of the operations
of the Group, and that the Board has a strong independent element. The Board, through the NRC, also
aims to maintain an appropriate balance and diversity of experience, skills, knowledge, gender, age,
perspectives, qualifications and other attributes in the relevant areas among the Directors in order to
build an effective and cohesive Board. Any potential conflicts of interest are also taken into consideration.
In view of the principles and provisions set out in the 2018 Code, the Board has also adopted a Board
Diversity Policy from 2020 onwards as the REIT recognises that board diversity is an essential element
contributing to the sustainable development of the Manager. Under this Board Diversity Policy, the Board,
through the NRC, aims to maintain an appropriate balance and diversity of experience, skills, knowledge,
gender, age, perspectives, qualifications and other attributes in the relevant areas among the Directors in
order to build an effective and cohesive Board. Given that the REIT is a listed entity and its retail properties
are based in China, a diverse set of skills and experience including directorships in listed companies, accounting and finance, as well as retail management in China are important to ensure effective functioning
of the Board. The Board, through the NRC, sets and reviews periodically internal targets and guidelines for
the composition of the board, taking into consideration the right blend of competencies and experience,
skills and abilities, as well as our corporate gender objective based on inclusiveness and equality. The NRC
is of the view that the Board and board committees are of an appropriate size, and comprise directors who
as a group provide the appropriate balance and mix of skills, knowledge, experience, and other aspects
of diversity such as gender and age, so as to avoid groupthink and foster constructive debate, and taking
into account the needs and plans of the REIT, as well as the future strategy of the REIT. In line with the
Board Diversity Policy, the current Board comprises five members who are corporate and business leaders,
and are professionals with varied backgrounds, expertise and experience including in accounting, banking,
finance and the China market. The Board members have a diverse mix of skills, talents, experience and
diversity required to serve the needs of the REIT. While there is no female director in the Board currently, the
REIT has a female CEO, Ms Iz-Lynn Chan, who works closely with the Board. Her presence at all the Board
Meetings is a testament of our inclusive and fair corporate gender objective.
More importantly, the NRC is of the view that the Board together with the CEO (i.e. persons charged with
governance) are able to foster an inclusive and diverse culture that introduces different skills, perspectives
and experiences that will ultimately promote better corporate governance.
|Directorships in other listed companies||40% of Board||✓|
|Experience in accounting and finance||60% of Board|
|Experience in retail management in China||40% of Board|
|Fair and inclusive corporate gender objective||Female CEO|
The assessment of a Director's independence takes into account the enhanced independence
requirements and the definition of "independent director" as set out in both the 2018 Code and the
Securities and Futures (Licencing and Conduct of Business) Regulations. An independent director is
one who: (i) is independent in conduct, character and judgment, and has no relationship with the
Manager, its related corporations, shareholders who hold 5.0% or more of the voting shares (the
"Substantial Shareholders") of the Manager, or Unitholders who hold 5.0% or more of the Units (the
"Substantial Unitholders") in issue, or its officers that could interfere, or be reasonably perceived to
interfere, with the exercise of his or her independence business judgment, in the best interests of the
Unitholders; (ii) is independent from any management and business relationship with the Manager and
the REIT, and from every Substantial Shareholder of the Manager and every Substantial Unitholder;
(iii) is not a Substantial Shareholder of the Manager or a Substantial Unitholder; (iv) has not served on
the Board for a continuous period of nine (9) years or longer; and (v) is not employed or has been
employed by the Manager or the REIT or any of their related corporations in the current or any of the
past three (3) financial years and does not have an immediate family member who is employed or
has been employed by the Manager or the REIT or any of their related corporations in the current or
any of the past three (3) financial years and whose remuneration is or was determined by the Board.
Mr Xiong Zhen and Mr Peng Ge are salaried employees of other entities within the Beijing Hualian
Group Investment Holding Co., Ltd. ("Beijing Hualian Group") and accordingly are treated as Non Independent Directors. The independence of Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung, Mr Ben Yeo Chee Seong and Mr Lau Teck Sien are assessed against the requirements of the 2018 Code, the Listing Manual of
the SGX-ST and Regulation 13E of the Securities and Futures (Licencing and Conduct of Business)
Regulations. There are no instances where the Board considers a director to be independent where
there is the existence of a relationship as stated in the 2018 Code and the Listing Manual of the
SGX-ST that would otherwise deem a director not to be independent. For FY 2022, the NRC has reviewed and determined that the Independent Directors of the
Manager are independent according to the 2018 Code, the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST and Regulation 13E
of the Securities and Futures (Licencing and Conduct of Business) Regulations. None of the Independent
Directors have served the Board beyond nine (9) years from the date of their first appointments. The
following further sets out the assessment of each Director's independence against the requirements under
the Securities and Futures (Licencing and Conduct of Business) Regulations.
||Lau Teck Sien
|had been independent from the management of the Manager and BHG Retail REIT during FY 2022
|had been independent from any business relationship with the Manager and BHG Retail REIT during FY 2022
|had been independent from every Substantial Shareholder of the Manager and every Substantial Unitholder of BHG Retail REIT during FY 2022
|had not been a Substantial Shareholder of the Manager or a Substantial Unitholder of BHG Retail REIT during FY 2022
|has not served as a Director of the Manager for a continuous period of nine (9) years or longer as at the last day of FY 2022||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Each of Mr Peng Ge and Mr Xiong Zhen is currently employed by a related corporation of the Manager. As such, during FY 2022, each of them is deemed (a) to have a management relationship with the Manager and the REIT; and (b) connected to a Substantial Shareholder of the Manager and substantial Unitholder. The Board of the Manager is satisfied that, as at the last day of FY 2022, each of Mr Peng Ge and Mr Xiong Zhen was able to act in the best interests of all Unitholders as a whole.
The Board is confident that the Directors act in good faith and exercise due diligence and care in the exercise of their duties, and is presently of an appropriate size. For FY 2022, the Board is of the opinion that its current Board size and composition is reasonable, effective and efficient considering the nature, size and scope of the Manager's and the REIT's business operation.
The Non-Executive Directors contribute to the Board process by monitoring and reviewing Management's performance against goals and objectives. Their view and opinions provide alternative perspectives to the Manager's business and enable the Board to make informed and balanced decisions. The Non-Executive Directors also work with Management to help shape the strategic process.
When reviewing Management's proposals or decisions, the Non-Executive Directors bring their objective judgment to bear on business activities and transactions involving conflicts of interest and other complexities. The Non-Executive Directors and/or the REIT Independent Directors, led by the independent Chairman of the Board or other Independent Directors of the REIT as appropriate, meet regularly about two times a year without the presence of Management. The Chairman of such meetings provides feedback to the Board and/or Chairman of the Board as appropriate. In FY 2022, the Non-Executive Directors, led by the independent Chairman, met two times for discussions without the presence of Management.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Principle 3: There is a clear division of responsibilities between the leadership of the Board and Management, and no one individual has unfettered powers of decision-making.
To ensure an appropriate balance of power and increase the accountability and capacity of the Board for
independent decision making, the roles and responsibilities of Chairman and CEO are held by separate
individuals. Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung is the Chairman and Ms Chan lz-Lynn is the CEO. The Chairman
brings with him a wealth of experience. He leads the Board and bears responsibility for the working of
the Board. Mr Siu is responsible for creating the conditions for the overall effectiveness and direction
of the Board, Board Committees and individual Directors. He ensures that the Board receives accurate,
timely and clear information and that the Board meetings are held as and when necessary, and sets the
agenda of Board meetings in consultation with the other Directors and Management. He assists in ensuring
compliance with the provisions on corporate governance and facilitates the effective contribution of Non-
Executive Directors. The Board establishes and sets out in writing the division of responsibilities between
the Chairman and the CEO.
The CEO, Ms Chan lz-Lynn, works with the Board to determine the strategy for the REIT. She also works with
the other members of the Management to ensure that the REIT operates in accordance with the Manager's
stated investment strategy. Further, she is responsible for the future strategic development, overall
day-to-day management and operations of the REIT, and works with the Manager's investment, asset
management, financial and compliance personnel in meeting the strategic, investment and operational
objectives of the REIT.
Provision 3.3 of the 2018 Code requires the Board to have a Lead Independent Director to provide leadership
in situations where the Chairman is conflicted, and especially when the Chairman is not independent. The
Lead Independent Director would be available to Unitholders where they have concerns and if contact
through the normal channels of communication with the Chairman or Management are inappropriate or
inadequate. Currently, no Lead Independent Director has been appointed as there are sufficient measures
in place in the event of a conflict by the Chairman. The Manager is of the view that despite the deviation from
Provision 3.3 of the 2018 Code, the risk of conflict by the Chairman is mitigated given that the Chairman is
not part of the Management and is an Independent Director, and the roles of the Chairman and CEO are held
by separate individuals who are not immediate family members and have no close family ties. Moreover, the
Board has a strong independent element as three (3) out of five (5) directors (including the Chairman) are
Non-Executive Independent Directors. The Manager is accordingly of the view that its practice is consistent
with the intent of Principle 3 of the 2018 Code as a whole.
During FY 2022, the Independent Directors have met at least once in the absence of Management, to
discuss matters. Such meetings are led by the Independent Chairman, and feedback is provided to the
Board and/or the Chairman as appropriate.
Principle 4: The Board has a formal and transparent process for the appointment and re-appointment of
directors, taking into account the need for progressive renewal of the Board.
The Board is cognizant of the requirements of the 2018 Code, and accordingly the Board has established
the NRC, which comprises the following three (3) members, all of whom, including the Chairman, are
Non-Executive Independent Directors:
|Mr Ben Yeo Chee Seong||Chairman|
|Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung||Member|
|Mr Lau Teck Sien||Member|
The NRC is regulated by a set of written terms of reference and is responsible for making recommendations
to the Board on appointment and remuneration matters. The NRC will review and make recommendations
to the Board on succession plans for the Board and executive officers, in particular the appointment and/or
replacement of the Chairman, the CEO and KMP. In reviewing succession plans, the NRC has in mind the
REIT's strategic priorities and the factors affecting the long-term success of the REIT.
The NRC also considers different time horizons for the purposes of succession planning. The NRC evaluates
the Board's competencies on a long-term basis and identifies competencies needed to achieve the REIT's
strategy and objectives. In the medium term, the NRC has a system of orderly replacement of the Board
members and key management personnel. The NRC also considers contingency planning to prepare for
sudden and unforeseen changes.
As provided in the Manager's Succession Planning Policy, internal candidates are identified as interim successor on an "acting" basis or covering person(s), for its key positions that become vacant due to incapacitation, in order to provide continuity in leadership in such event.
The other responsibilities of the NRC as set out in the terms of reference include:
- Making recommendations to the Board on the process and criteria for evaluation of the performance of
the Board, its Board Committees, and Directors;
- Reviewing and making recommendations to the Board on the training and professional development
programmes for the Board and its Directors;
- Reviewing, making recommendations to the Board and nominating the appointment and re-appointment
of Directors (including alternate directors, if applicable), having regard to the composition and progressive
renewal of the Board, including taking into account the leadership needs of the Manager and the REIT
and each Director's competencies, commitment, contribution and performance including, if applicable,
as an Independent Director. Potential new directors are identified and evaluated based on criteria such
as the relevant experience and skillsets of the potential director to the REIT's business. Broader search
criteria is also considered, such as diversity and technological expertise;
- Determining annually, as and when circumstances require, if a Director is independent having regard to
the circumstances set forth in page 29 of this Annual Report;
- Recommending to the Board for the Board's approval the objective performance criteria and process
for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the Board as a whole and that of each of its Board
Committees separately, as well as the contribution by the Chairman and each individual Director;
- Assess whether each Director continues to contribute effectively and demonstrates commitment to
the role, taking into account factors such as commitment of time for meetings of the Board and Board
Committees and any other duties;
- Review other directorship held by each Director and deciding if a Director is able to and has been
adequately carrying out his or her duties as a Director of the Manager, taking into consideration the
Director's number of listed company directorship and principal commitments;
- Propose and recommend to the Chairman of the Board, where appropriate, new members to be appointed
to the Board and/or to seek the resignation of existing Directors;
- Determine who should be given the responsibility of conducting the evaluation, i.e. whether it should
be done internally by another committee, by the NRC, by self-evaluation, or by an external consultant,
as well as whether the process is intended to be conducted through a written questionnaire or via oral
- Determine how the Manager's record retention policies and practices should be applied to the data
gathered in the course of the evaluation process and it should ensure that such record retention
procedures are strictly adhered to;
- Reviewing the REIT's obligations arising in the event of termination of Executive Directors' and executive
officers' contracts of service and ensuring that such contracts of service contain fair and reasonable
termination clauses; and
- Keep up to date with developments in corporate governance initiatives, changes to relevant legislations,
strategic issues and commercial changes that may affect the Manager and the industry it operates.
The NRC has adopted the following criteria and process for selecting, appointing and reappointing
Directors and for reviewing the performance of Directors:
- The NRC reviews the independence of each Director annually having regard to the circumstances set
forth in Provision 2.1 of the 2018 Code.
- In appointing a new Director to the Board, the Board considers the needs of the REIT and the relevant
expertise of the candidate. Further, the Board refers to the Board Diversity Policy and considers the
principles stated on pages 28 to 29 of this Annual Report.
- The NRC ensures that a new Director is aware of his or her duties and obligations. A newly appointed
Director receives a formal appointment letter which sets out his or her relevant duties and obligations.
The NRC also decides if a Director is able to and has been adequately carrying out his or her duties as a
Director of the Manager.
- The NRC further reviews the composition of the Board periodically, taking into account the need for
progressive renewal of the Board and each Director's competencies, commitment, contribution and
performance. Candidates with the appropriate profile are shortlisted for nomination and are recommended
to the Board for approval. The search for candidates is conducted through referrals, and the NRC may
seek advice from external search consultants where necessary.
In respect of the Manager's Independent Directors, Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung, Mr Ben Yeo Chee Seong
and Mr Lau Teck Sien, the Board is of the view that they are independent for the financial year under
review, taking into account the circumstances set forth in the 2018 Code, the Listing Manual of the SGXST,
Regulation 13E of the Securities and Futures (Licencing and Conduct of Business) Regulations and any
other salient factors. The Independent Directors had also confirmed their independence in accordance
with the 2018 Code, the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST and Regulation 13E of the Securities and Futures
(Licencing and Conduct of Business) Regulations.
Where a Director has multiple Board representations, the NRC also considers whether or not the Director is
able to and has adequately carried out his or her duties as a Director of the Manager, taking into consideration
the Director's number of listed entity board representations and other principal commitments which are set
out on pages 17 to 19 of this Annual Report. The Board has voluntarily and unanimously agreed that with
effect from the financial year ended 31 December 2018, each Director may hold a maximum of six (6) listed
Procedures and control mechanisms are also in place to ensure that independence of the Directors is
actively monitored. Please refer to Principle 2 under Board Composition and Guidance.
The NRC has evaluated and is satisfied that each Director has provided sufficient time and attention on
the affairs of the Manager to fulfil their responsibilities, notwithstanding their other commitments. For FY
2022, the Directors have attended Board meetings and have participated constructively in discussion of the
activities of the REIT. The NRC and the Board are of the view that, despite the external appointments, the
Directors are not hindered from diligently discharging his or her duties as Directors of the Manager.
The number of meetings held by the Board, the ARC and the NRC, and the attendance of Directors at the
meetings during FY 2022 are set out as follows:
|Board Meetings||ARC Meetings||NRC Meetings||General Meetings|
|Francis Siu Wai Keung||2||2||1||1(1)|
|Ben Yeo Chee Seong||2||2||1||1(1)|
|Lau Teck Sien||2||2||1||1(1)|
(1) The annual general meeting for the financial year ended 31 December 2021 was convened and held by way of electronic means. These Directors were in attendance via electronic means.
(2) N.A. - Not applicable
Information in respect of the designations and roles of the Directors, academic and professional qualification,
date of first appointment as a Director, date of last re-appointment as a Director, and directorship or
chairmanship, both present and those held over the preceding three (3) years in other listed companies,
and other principal commitments, is set out on pages 17 to 19 of this Annual Report.
Principle 5: The Board undertakes a formal annual assessment of its effectiveness as a whole, and that of each of its board committees and individual directors.
The Board has implemented a formal system of evaluating Board's performance, which is carried out by
the NRC, for assessing the effectiveness of the Board as a whole, and of each Board Committee separately,
as well as the contribution by the Chairman and each individual Director through the use of a performance
assessment checklist. The Board has not engaged any external facilitator to conduct the performance
evaluation of the Board, its Board Committees and each individual Director. Where relevant and when the
need arises, the NRC will consider such an engagement.
The evaluation of the Board's performance as a whole deals with matters on Board composition, information,
process, accountability, performance benchmark, CEO/KMP, risk management and internal controls and
standards of conduct. The Board Committees' evaluation deals with the efficiency and effectiveness of
each Board Committee in assisting the Board. The criteria for the evaluation of individual Directors include,
among others, the Directors' attendance and participation at Board and Board Committees' meetings,
understanding of business plans and strategies, and ability to articulate thoughts and opinions in a clear
and concise manner.
Each Director is required to objectively assess his or her personal performance and collectively, the
performance of the Board as a whole and its Board Committees. For FY 2022, each Director completed the
performance assessment checklists and returned them to the Company Secretary. The Company Secretary
has compiled the results of the evaluation and tabled the summary for the NRC's review. The NRC is satisfied
- All performance objectives for FY 2022 have been met for the Board, Board Committees and for each individual Director; and
- Each Independent Director has met and continues to meet the requirements of the 2018 Code.
Pursuant to the NRC's review, the Board is satisfied that it has achieved its performance objectives for FY 2022.
The Manager believes that the Board's performance is reflected in the long-term success of the REIT. The Board's performance is reviewed once a year by the NRC.
Procedures for Developing Remuneration Policies
Principle 6: The Board has a formal and transparent procedure for developing policies on director
and executive remuneration, and for fixing the remuneration packages of individual directors and key
management personnel. No director is involved in deciding his or her own remuneration.
The Board has established the NRC to review and make recommendations to the Board on (i) a framework
of remuneration for the Board and KMP; and (ii) the specific remuneration packages for each Director and
KMP to ensure that the remuneration payable is in line with the objectives of its remuneration guidelines.
The NRC comprises at least three (3) Directors. All members of the NRC are Non-Executive Directors, all of
whom, including the NRC Chairman, are independent.
The NRC assists in reviewing and recommending to the Board a general framework of remuneration for
the Board and KMP of the Manager that is market competitive and a compensation strategy that helps to
support the Manager's objective of attracting, rewarding and retaining performing employees. The NRC also
assists in reviewing and recommending to the Board the specific remuneration packages for each Director
as well as for the KMP, and employees related to the Directors, the CEO or Substantial Shareholders or
employees who are Substantial Shareholders themselves. The NRC considers all aspects of remuneration,
including termination terms, to ensure that they are fair.
No remuneration consultants were engaged in FY 2022.
Level and Mix of Remuneration
Principle 7: The level and structure of remuneration of the Board and key management personnel are
appropriate and proportionate to the sustained performance and value creation of the company, taking
into account the strategic objectives of the company.
Disclosure on Remuneration
Principle 8: The company is transparent on its remuneration policies, level and mix of remuneration, the
procedure for setting remuneration, and the relationships between remuneration, performance and value
The REIT is externally managed by the Manager and accordingly has no personnel of its own. Remuneration
of all Directors and employees of the Manager are paid by the Manager and not by the REIT. The Manager
adopts the principle that remuneration for the Board and Management should be assessed holistically. The
remuneration structure supports the continuous development of the management bench strength to ensure
robust talent management and succession planning. While the Manager is not a listed entity, the Board has
established the NRC. As regards remuneration policies, the terms of reference of the NRC include:
- Reviewing and recommending to the Board a general framework of remuneration for the Board
and the executive officers;
- Reviewing the REIT's obligations arising in the event of termination of Executive Directors' and
executive officers' contracts of service and ensuring that such contracts of service contain fair
and reasonable termination clauses;
- Developing an assessment matrix to review the performance, consider and recommend to the
Board on the appropriate quantum of remuneration in view of a Director's level of contributions,
taking into account his or her responsibilities and time spent;
- Setting the remuneration policy for Directors (both Executive Directors and Non-Executive
Directors) and KMP;
- Monitoring the level and structure of remuneration for KMP relative to the internal and external
peers and competitors;
- Reviewing the remuneration of employees related to the Directors, CEO or Substantial Shareholders
or employees who are Substantial Shareholders, if any, to ensure that their remuneration packages
are in line with employee remuneration guidelines and commensurate with their respective job
scopes and level of responsibilities. Any bonuses, pay increases and/or promotion for these related
employees will also be subject to the review and approval of the NRC;
- Obtaining reliable, up-to-date information on the remuneration practices of other companies
and the relevant market benchmarks through the appointment of external consultants. Such
information can also be obtained by commissioning or purchasing any appropriate reports, surveys
or information at the expense of the Manager, subject to the budgetary constraints imposed by
- Overseeing any major changes in employee benefits or remuneration structures; and
- Reviewing the design of all long-term and short-term incentive plans for approval by the Board
The NRC recommends a framework of remuneration for the Board and KMP to the Board for endorsement.
There is a formal and transparent procedure for fixing the remuneration packages of the Directors. No
individual Director is involved in fixing his or her own remuneration. Independent Directors are paid
Directors' fees annually on a standard fee basis.
The NRC operates on delegated authority from the Board. The Manager has put in place a remuneration
policy with an aim toward retention of talent, building the strength of management, and developing key
executives. This ensures that the business of the Manager remains sustainable, and provides a stable
environment with room for continual growth and improvement.
The NRC reviews the terms and conditions of service agreements of the CEO and KMP before their
execution. In the course of such review, the NRC will consider the Manager's obligations arising in
the event of termination of the CEO and KMP, to ensure that the service agreements contain fair and
reasonable termination clauses and are not overly generous so as to avoid rewarding poor performance.
In establishing the remuneration structure of the CEO and KMP, the NRC ensures that the level and mix
of remuneration is competitively benchmarked against the relevant industry market rates and tied to the
performance of the Manager and the individual employee. The NRC also exercises independent judgment
in ensuring that a significant and appropriate proportion of the KMP's remuneration is structured so as
to link rewards to corporate and individual performance. Such performance-related remuneration is
aligned with the interests of Unitholders and other stakeholders and promotes long-term success and
sustainable growth of the REIT. The remuneration package of the CEO and KMP comprises a base fixed
cash component, including the base salary and compulsory employer contribution to the key executive's
Central Provident Fund ("CPF") account, and a variable cash component.
The variable cash component is linked to whether the CEO and KMP meet performance targets. Such
performance-centric remuneration is linked to the achievement of corporate and individual performance
targets, both in terms of short and long-term quantifiable objectives, as well as to support the ongoing
enhancement of Unitholder value.
The CEO and KMP are paid in cash only and do not receive any remuneration in Units.
The Manager believes the current remuneration framework it has in place allows it to attract sufficiently
qualified talent. While the approach reflects a pay-for-performance culture, it is also designed to attract,
motivate and retain high performing and high potential directors in their respective field of expertise to
provide good stewardship of the Manager and KMP to successfully manage the REIT for the long term.
Each employee's salary comprises a fixed component and a variable component. The fixed component
consists of the base salary and compulsory contributions to the employee's CPF account. The variable
component consists of an annual bonus plan, which is linked to the performance of the employee across
the preceding year. Further, the Manager may grant to each employee an Annual Wage Supplement.
Fees received by each Independent Director consist only of Director's fees component, which is paid
in cash. Such fees are appropriate to their level of contribution, taking into account factors such as
effort, time spent, and responsibilities. In addition, the Manager also conducted a benchmarking process
to ensure that the Directors' fees are in line with the market. Provision 7.2 of the 2018 Code on the
remuneration of the Non-Executive Non-Independent Directors does not apply to the Manager as the
Non-Executive Non-Independent Directors of the Manager do not receive any fees. They are salaried
employees of other entities of the Beijing Hualian Group. The Manager is accordingly of the view that
despite this deviation from Provision 7.2 of the 2018 Code, its practice is consistent with the intent of
Principle 7 of the 2018 Code as a whole. Directors and KMP are not paid in Units.
The Directors' fees for Independent Directors for FY 2022 are set out as follows:
|Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung||98,000|
|Mr Ben Yeo Chee Seong||87,000|
|Mr Lau Teck Sien||85,000|
The Manager does not use contractual provisions to allow the Manager to reclaim incentive components
of remuneration from the CEO and KMP in exceptional circumstances of misstatement of financial
results, or of misconduct resulting in financial loss to the Manager. The CEO owes a fiduciary duty to the
Manager. The Manager should be able to avail itself to remedies against the CEO in the event of such
breach of fiduciary duties.
The Board has not included a separate annual remuneration report to the Unitholders in the Annual
Report on the remuneration of Directors and the top five (5) KMP (who are not Directors or the CEO of
the Manager) as the Board is of the view that the matters which are required to be disclosed in such
annual remuneration report have already been sufficiently disclosed in this Report and in the financial
statements of the Manager.
Provision 8.1 of the 2018 Code and the MAS Notice to All Holders of a Capital Markets Services Licence
for Real Estate Investment Trust Management (Notice No: SFA4-N14) require REIT managers to disclose
(1) the remuneration of the CEO and each individual Director on a named basis, with a break down
(in percentage or dollar terms) of each Director's and the CEO's remuneration earned through base/
fixed salary, variable or performance-related income/bonuses, benefits-in-kind, stock options granted,
share-based incentives and awards and other long-term incentives; and (2) the remuneration of at least
the top five (5) KMP (who are not also Directors or the CEO), on a named basis, in bands no wider than
S$250,000 and in aggregate the total remuneration paid to these KMP.
The Manager is of the view that despite the deviation from Provision 8.1 of the 2018 Code and the Notice
to All Holders of a Capital Markets Service Licence for Real Estate Investment Trust Management (Notice
No: SFA4-N14), the disclosures in this Annual Report would provide sufficient information to Unitholders
on the Manager's remuneration policies and the level and mix of remuneration accorded to such
personnel, while balancing the confidential and commercial sensitivities associated with remuneration
matters. Further, the Board has assessed and decided against such disclosure of the remuneration of
the CEO and top five (5) KMP and believes that the interests of the Unitholders will not be prejudiced as
a result of such non-disclosure, for the following reasons:
- Remuneration matters for the CEO and top KMP are sensitive and confidential matters;
- There is competition for talent in the REIT industry, and it is the view of the Manager that it would
be in the interests of the Unitholders not to reveal the remuneration in order to maintain continuity
of business; and
- Remuneration is paid by the Manager, and all fees payable to the Manager have been detailed in
full in this Annual Report.
The Manager is accordingly of the view that despite this partial deviation from Provision 8.1 of
the 2018 Code, its practice is consistent with the intent of Principle 8 of the 2018 Code as a whole.
For the above reasons, Unitholders' interests are not prejudiced by the partial deviation.
There were no employees who were Substantial Shareholders of the Manager, Substantial
Unitholders of the REIT, or were immediate family members of a Director, the CEO, a Substantial
Shareholder of the Manager or a Substantial Unitholder of the REIT during FY 2021 and whose
remuneration exceeds S$100,000 during the year. Based on the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST, "Immediate
family" in relation to a person, means the person's spouse, child, adopted child, step-child, sibling
No remuneration or compensation was paid or is to be paid in the form of share options, since the
Manager does not currently have any plan to implement share option or share incentive schemes.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of the Manager doing so in the future.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND AUDIT
Risk Management and Internal Controls
Principle 9: The Board is responsible for the governance of risk and ensures that Management maintains
a sound system of risk management and internal controls, to safeguard the interests of the company and
The Board is responsible for the governance of risk. The Board ensures that Management maintains a sound
system of risk management and internal controls to safeguard the Unitholders' interests and the REIT's
assets, and determines the nature and extent of the significant risks which the Board is willing to take in
achieving its strategic objectives and value creation. The Manager has established the ARC to address this.
The Manager recognizes the importance of having in place an effective, adequate and sound system
of risk management and internal control. Accordingly, Deloitte & Touche Enterprise Risk Services Pte
Ltd ("Deloitte") was engaged as internal auditors to provide professional input in the assessment of the
Manager's existing internal controls.
Further, the Manager has further engaged KPMG Services Pte. Ltd. ("KPMG") to conduct semi-annual
reviews to mitigate the risk of non-compliance with regulatory requirements. The ARC is kept updated
on findings reported by Deloitte and KPMG, and the ARC takes these findings into consideration when
assessing the Manager's risk appetite. The Manager has also adopted an Enterprise Risk Management
("ERM") Framework, which formalises the Manager's risk management and internal controls practice.
For FY 2022, the Manager has conducted two Control Self-Assessment Exercises to evaluate its ERM Framework and measures to
address risks related to climate change and global warming were also incorporated into the ERM Framework.
More information on the ERM Framework can be found in the Enterprise Risk Management section of this
Based on the internal controls established and maintained by the Manager, work performed by the internal
and external auditors, and reviews performed by Management, various Board Committees and the Board,
as well as the said assurances set out below, the Board is satisfied and the ARC concurs with the Board that
the Manager's internal controls (including financial, operational, compliance and information technology
controls) and risk management systems were adequate and effective as at 31 December 2022 to address
the risks taking into account the nature, scale and complexity of the Manager's operations. For FY 2022, the
Board has received written assurances from:
- the CEO and Chief Financial Officer ("CFO") that, as at 31 December 2022, the Group's financial records
have been properly maintained and the financial statements give a true and fair view of the Group's
operations and finances; and
- the CEO and the relevant KMP who are responsible, that the system of internal controls (including
financial, operational, compliance and information technology controls) and risk management systems in
place were adequate and effective as at 31 December 2022 to address the risks that the Group considers
relevant and material to its business operations.
The system of internal controls provides reasonable, but not absolute, assurance that the Group will not
be adversely affected by any event that could be reasonable foreseen as it strives to achieve its business
objectives. However, the Board notes that no system of internal controls and risk management systems
can provide absolute assurance in this regard, or absolute assurance against the occurrence of material
errors, poor judgement in decision-making, human error, losses, fraud or other irregularities.
The Manager has established the ARC. Furthermore, Management, with the assistance of Deloitte and
KPMG, regularly reviews the REIT's business and operational activities to identify areas of significant
business risks as well as appropriate measures to control and mitigate these risks. Management will
continue to review and strengthen the Group's control environment and devote resources and expertise
towards improving its internal policies and procedures to maintain a high level of governance and
Audit and Risk Committee
Principle 10: The Board has an Audit and Risk Committee which discharges its duties objectively.
The Manager keeps the Unitholders updated on the REIT's financial performance, position and prospects
through periodic financial reports and business updates. In its presentation of the financial results, the
Board strives to provide reports that are easily understandable of the REIT's financial position, its results,
and its prospects.
The Manager believes in conducting itself in ways that seek to deliver maximum sustainable value to the
Unitholders. Best practices are promoted as a means to build an excellent business for the Unitholders
and the Manager is accountable to the Unitholders for the REIT's performance. Prompt fulfilment of
statutory and regulatory reporting requirements is but one way to maintain the Unitholders' confidence
and trust in the capability and integrity of the Manager.
Management is accountable to the Board and presents financial statements/management accounts and
its accompanying explanations of the REIT's performance, position and prospects to the ARC and the
Board for review and/or approval on a quarterly basis or as the Board may require from time to time to
enable the Board to make a balanced and informed assessment of the REIT's performance, financial
position and prospects.
The ARC comprises the following three (3) members, all of whom, including the Chairman, are Non-Executive Independent Directors:
|Mr Francis Siu Wai Keung||Chairman|
|Mr Ben Yeo Chee Seong||Member|
|Mr Lau Teck Sien||Member|
The Board is of the opinion that at least two (2) members, including the ARC Chairman, have recent and
relevant experience in audit, accounting and fund management. Further, the ARC meets at least once
every quarter. During ARC meetings, they may be briefed and updated on any changes to accounting
standards and issues which have a direct impact on financial statements. Accordingly, they are qualified
to discharge the ARC's responsibilities.
Following the amendments to Rule 705(2) of the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST, which took effect on 7 February
2020, the Manager announced on 14 April 2020 that the REIT will adopt the announcement of half-yearly
financial statements with effect from FY 2020, commencing with the financial results announcement for the
six-months period ended 30 June 2020. The Manager will still provide business updates to Unitholders in
relation to the performance of the REIT over the first and third quarters of each financial year, commencing
with the first quarter ended 31 March 2020. For the first and third quarters of FY 2022, when no ARC
meetings were scheduled, the ARC was invited to attend the Management meeting to review the quarterly
financial performance and to receive business and/or operational updates from Management.
The ARC is authorised by the Board to investigate any matters within its terms of reference. Management
is required to provide the full cooperation in providing information and resources, and in implementing
or carrying out all requests made by the ARC. The ARC has direct access to the internal and external
auditors and full discretion to invite any Director or KMP to attend its meetings. Similarly, both the internal
and external auditors are given unrestricted access to the ARC.
The ARC is regulated by a set of written terms of reference and its principal functions include:
- Reviewing significant financial reporting issues and key areas of management judgment so as to
ensure the integrity of the financial statements of the Manager and any announcements relating
to the Manager's financial performance;
- Monitoring the integrity of the financial information provided by the Manager, in particular, by
reviewing the relevance and consistency of the accounting standards used by the REIT (i.e. entity
level) and for the Group (i.e. consolidation level);
- Keeping abreast of changes in accounting standards and issues which have a direct impact on
- Overseeing and review the adequacy and effectiveness of the risk management function including
the plans, activities, staffing, budget, resources and organizational structure;
- Reviewing risk management and capabilities including risk identification, risk systems, risk
management training, risk communication channels, crisis readiness and recovery capabilities;
- Reviewing, on an annual basis, the adequacy and effectiveness of the risk management and
internal control systems with respect to financial, operational, compliance, and information
- Reviewing and monitor Management's responsiveness to the risk mitigating actions;
- Reviewing, on an annual basis, the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal audit function in
the overall context of the REIT's internal controls and risk management systems;
- Reviewing the assurance from the CEO and the CFO on the financial records being properly
maintained and the financial statements giving a true and fair view of the REIT's operations and
- Monitoring the procedures in place to ensure compliance with applicable legislation, the Listing
Manual of the SGX-ST and the provisions of the Property Funds Appendix;
- Monitoring the procedures established to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Listing
Manual of the SGX-ST relating to interested person transactions, and the provisions of the
Property Funds Appendix relating to interested party transactions (collectively, "Related Party
- Reviewing the effectiveness, independence, adequacy, scope and results of the external audit
and the internal audit function, audit reviews, the annual audit plan and the internal audit reports,
including the adequacy of internal audit resources and its appropriate standing within the REIT;
- Overseeing the Manager's relations with the external auditors, including its audit scope, approach,
remuneration and terms of engagement;
- Making recommendations to the Board on the nomination for the appointment, re-appointment
and removal of external and internal auditors, and approving the remuneration and terms of
engagement of the external and internal auditors;
- Monitoring and assess annually whether the external auditors' independence or objectivity is
impaired. The factors to consider include the amount of fees for audit and non-audit services
provided by the external auditors;
- Discussing key audit matters with the external auditors and ascertain if there are any follow-up
actions which should be taken to reduce the extent of uncertainty and corresponding need for
judgement for future periods;
- Ensuring that the external auditors have direct and unrestricted access to the Chairman of the
ARC and the Chairman of the Board;
- Ensuring that there are programs and policies in place to identify and prevent fraud; and
- Reviewing the Whistle-blowing Policy and arrangements put in place by which employees and
external parties may, in confidence, safely raise probable improprieties in matters of financial
reporting or other matters, with the objective that arrangements are in place for the independent
investigation of such matters and for appropriate follow up actions.
The ARC is responsible for the nomination of internal and external auditors. Further, the ARC is empowered
to investigate any matters that fall within its terms of reference at any time it deems necessary to do so.
Management cooperates fully with the ARC in such circumstances.
The ARC has full access to and the cooperation of Management and reasonable resources to enable it to
discharge its functions properly. The ARC meetings are held with the external auditors and by invitation,
any Director and representatives from Management. The ARC also meets with the external and internal
auditors, in each case, without the presence of Management, at least annually, to discuss any problems
and concerns they may have. The ARC had met with the internal and external auditors Deloitte and Messrs
KPMG LLP respectively, in the absence of Management during FY 2022.
The ARC reviewed the nature and extent of non-audit services provided by the external auditors during
FY 2022 and the fees paid for such services, and is of the opinion that they would not affect the independence
of the external auditors. The external auditors have also provided confirmation of their independence to the
ARC. The aggregate amount of fees paid and payable to the external auditors for FY 2022 in respect of the
audit services is approximately S$384,000. Non-audit services were not rendered for FY 2022.
The Manager confirms that the appointment of the external auditors is in accordance with Rules 712
and 715 of the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST.
The Manager has established a Whistleblowing Policy, which is overseen by the ARC. The Whistleblowing
Policy sets out the procedures for any suspected fraudulent or wrongful act, corruption or other improprieties
by the Manager's Directors, officers or employees to be reported, and for the independent investigation of
any reports and appropriate follow-up action to be taken. The objective of this policy is to provide a channel
by which employees of the Manager or any other persons may, in confidence, safely raise their concerns to
the Independent Chairman of the ARC about possible improprieties in matters of financial reporting or other
matters in a responsible and effective manner. Under the whistleblowing policy, the whistleblower's identity
will be kept confidential, unless disclosure is required by the court or other regulatory authorities. The
Manager is committed to ensuring protection of the whistleblower against detrimental or unfair treatment.
The Manager does not tolerate the harassment or victimisation of anyone reporting a genuine concern
in good faith. Furthermore, no person should suffer reprisal as a result of reporting a genuine concern.
The ARC reviews all whistleblowing reports at its scheduled meetings. Investigation of such reports are
conducted by an independent review committee and appropriate follow-up actions are taken. The outcome
of each investigation is reported to the ARC. For FY 2022, there were no cases of whistleblowing.
In the review of the Group's financial statements, the ARC discussed with Management the accounting
principles that were applied and considered the clarity of key disclosures in the financial statements. In
addition, the ARC reviewed, amongst other matters, the key audit matter, as reported by external auditors
for the financial year ended 31 December 2022, relating to the valuation of investment properties
The ARC reviewed the outcome of the established valuation process and discussed the details of the
valuation with Management. The ARC considered the findings of the external auditors, including their
assessment of the appropriateness of valuation methodologies and the underlying key assumptions applied
in the valuation of investment properties. The ARC is satisfied with the valuation process, the methodologies
used, and the valuation of the investment properties as adopted and disclosed in the financial statements.
The ARC members take measures to keep abreast of changes of accounting standards and issues which
have a direct impact on financial statements through attending training and seminars as well as receiving
updates from the external auditors.
The ARC does not comprise former partners of the REIT's incumbent external auditors, Messrs KPMG
LLP (a) within a period of two (2) years commencing from the date of their ceasing to be partners of
Messrs KPMG LLP; or (b) who have any financial interest in Messrs KPMG LLP.
The Board recognises the importance of maintaining a system of internal controls, procedures and
processes for safeguarding the Unitholders' investment and the Manager's and the REIT's assets.
The internal audit function has been outsourced to an independent external service provider, Deloitte.
To ensure that it performs its function adequately and effectively, Deloitte employs suitably qualified
staff with the requisite skill sets and experience. The ARC reviews and approves the internal audit plan to
ensure the adequacy of the scope of audit. The ARC also reviews the needs of the internal audit function
on a regular basis, including overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the improvements
required for various internal control weaknesses identified by Management and the external auditors.
During FY 2022, Deloitte has conducted an audit review based on the approved internal audit plan. The
results of the review were reported to the ARC. Key findings were highlighted for follow-up action. The ARC
has reviewed the internal audit function and has concluded that the internal audit function was independent,
effective and adequately resourced.
The ARC is satisfied that the appointed internal auditors are adequately qualified (given, inter alia, its
adherence to standards set by internationally recognised professional bodies) and resourced, and has the
appropriate standing in the Manager to discharge its duties effectively and independently. The internal
auditors plan their internal audit schedules in consultation with, but independently of, Management and
their plan is submitted to the ARC for approval prior to the beginning of each year. The primary reporting
line of the internal audit function is to the ARC, which also decides on the appointment, termination
and remuneration of the head of the internal audit function. The internal audit function has unfettered
access to the Manager's documents, records, properties and employees, including access to the ARC,
and has appropriate standing within the Manager.
The ARC reviews and approves the internal audit plan on an annual basis to ensure the adequacy of
the scope of audit. The ARC also reviews the needs of the internal audit function on a regular basis,
including overseeing and monitoring the implementation of the improvements required for various
internal control weaknesses identified by Management and the external auditors.
SHAREHOLDER RIGHTS AND ENGAGEMENT
Shareholder Rights and Conduct of General Meetings
Principle 11: The company treats all shareholders fairly and equitably in order to enable them to exercise
shareholders' rights and have the opportunity to communicate their views on matters affecting the company.
The company gives shareholders a balanced and understandable assessment of its performance, position
The Manager is committed to treating all Unitholders fairly and equitably. All Unitholders enjoy specific
rights under the Trust Deed and the relevant laws and regulations. These rights include, among
other things, the right to participate in profit distributions. The Manager informs the Unitholders of the
rules governing general meetings, and they are entitled to attend general meetings and are accorded
the opportunity to participate effectively in and vote at general meetings. Unitholders will receive the http://www.bhgreit.com/
notices of general meetings and may download these notices from the REIT's website at
(the "REIT Website"). Notices of the general meetings will also be published
on SGXNet. The Manager tables separate resolutions at general meetings of Unitholders on each
substantially separate issue unless the issues are interdependent and linked so as to form one significant
proposal. Where the resolutions are "bundled", the Manager explains the reasons and material
implications in the notice of meeting. Resolution by poll is carried out systematically with proper recording
of votes cast and the resolutions passed.
Representatives of the Trustee, all the Directors (including the chairpersons of the Board, the ARC
and the NRC), the Manager's senior management and the external auditors, are present at general
meetings to address any queries that Unitholders may have. A record of the Directors' attendance at the
general meeting can be found in the records of their attendance of meetings set out at page 33 of this Annual Report. Before and after the general meetings, the Chairman and other members of the Board
will actively engage in dialogue with Unitholders, to gather views or inputs, and address Unitholders'
concerns. Such interactions allow the Board to understand and consider the views and feedback from
Unitholders and the Investment Community before formulating its key strategic decisions.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the previous general meeting held in FY 2022 was, and the forthcoming
AGM to be held on 27 April 2023 ("AGM 2023") will be, held via electronic means pursuant to the COVID-19
(Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings for Companies, Variable Capital Companies,
Business Trusts, Unit Trusts and Debenture Holders) Order 2020 (the "COVID-19 Temporary Measures
Order"). Alternative arrangements relating to (a) attendance at the AGM via electronic means (including
arrangements by which the AGM can be electronically accessed via live audio-visual webcast or live audioonly
stream); (b) submission of questions relating to the resolutions to be tabled for approval at the AGM,
to the Chairman of the AGM in advance of, or "live" at, the AGM, and addressing of substantial and relevant
questions in advance of, or "live" at, the AGM; and (c) voting at the AGM (i) "live" by the Unitholder or
his/her/its duly appointed proxy(ies) or corporate representative(s) (where applicable) (other than the
Chairman of the AGM) via electronic means, or (ii) by appointing the Chairman of the AGM as proxy to vote
on the Unitholder's behalf at the AGM, are set out in the Notice of AGM dated 5 April 2023. The description
below sets out the REIT's usual practice for Unitholders' meetings when there are no pandemic risks and
the COVID-19 Temporary Measures Order is not in operation.
For greater transparency, the Manager has implemented electronic poll voting at general meetings. This
entails Unitholders being invited to vote on each of the resolutions by poll, using an electronic voting system
(instead of voting by hands), thereby allowing all Unitholders present or represented at the meeting to
vote on a one Unit, one vote basis. The voting results of all votes cast for, against, or abstaining from each
resolution is then screened at the meeting and announced to the SGX-ST after the meeting. An independent
external party is appointed as scrutineer for the electronic voting process to count and validate the votes
at general meetings. The Manager will continue to use the electronic poll voting system at the forthcoming
annual general meeting. As the authentication of Unitholder identity and other related security and integrity
issues still remain a concern, the Manager has decided for the time being, not to implement absentia voting
methods such as voting via mail, e-mail or fax (as recommended by Provision 11.4). The Manager is of the
view that despite this deviation from Provision 11.4 of the 2018 Code, its practice is consistent with the intent
of Principle 11 of the 2018 Code as Unitholders have opportunities to communicate their views on matters
affecting the REIT even when they are not in attendance at general meetings, through the investor relations
contact indicated on the REIT Website.
The Unitholders who are unable to attend meetings are provided with the option to appoint up to two
(2) proxies, who may then attend and vote in his or her place at the general meetings via proxy forms
submitted in advance (i.e. not less than forty-eight (48) hours before the time appointed for holding the
general meeting). Unitholders such as nominee companies which provide custodial services for securities
are not constrained by the two (2) proxy limitation, and are able to appoint more than two (2) proxies to
attend, speak and vote at general meetings. The proxy form is sent with the notice of general meetings to
The minutes of Unitholders' meetings which capture the attendance of Board members at the meetings,
matters approved by Unitholders, voting results and substantial and relevant comments or queries from
Unitholders relating to the agenda of the general meeting together with responses from the Board and
Management, are prepared by the Manager. These minutes are made available on the REIT Website as soon
In accordance with the Prospectus for Initial Public Offering of the REIT dated 2 December 2015, the REIT's
distribution policy is to distribute 100.0% of the REIT's Distributable Income for the Forecast Period 2015
and the Projection Year 2016. Thereafter, the REIT will distribute at least 90.0% of its Distributable Income
for each financial year. For FY 2022, the Manager had made a distribution of 0.76 Singapore Cents per unit
for the period from 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022 on 28 September 2022, and a second distribution of 0.41
Singapore Cents per unit for the period from 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022 on 31 March 2023.
Engagement with Shareholders
Principle 12: The company communicates regularly with its shareholders and facilitates the participation
of shareholders during general meetings and other dialogues to allow shareholders to communicate their
views on various matters affecting the company.
The Manager encourages the Unitholders' participation during the general meetings. The Unitholders are
able to engage with the Board and Management on the REIT's business activities, financial performance
and other business-related matters during such meetings. Resolutions are passed through a process of
voting and Unitholders are entitled to vote in accordance with established voting rules and procedures.
The Manager prides itself on its high standards of disclosure and corporate transparency. The Manager
aims to provide accurate, objective and timely information regarding the REIT's performance and progress
and matters concerning the REIT and its business which are likely to materially affect the price or value
of the Units, to Unitholders and the investment community, to enable them to make informed investment
decisions. Further, the Manager has established procedures to ensure current Unitholders are informed
in advance of meetings. They are encouraged to attend and participate in the process of these meetings,
especially if they have questions regarding the resolutions that have been put up to be decided upon.
The Manager's dedicated Investor Relations ("IR") Manager is tasked with, and focuses on, facilitating
communications between the REIT and its Unitholders, as well as with the investment community, analysts
and the media. An IR policy is in place to promote regular, timely, accurate and fair communications.
Contact details of the IR Manager are available on the REIT Website for Unitholders, investors and
other stakeholders to channel their comments and queries.
Continuous and informed dialogue between the Manager and Unitholders is a central tenet of good corporate
governance. Regular engagement between these parties will promote greater transparency. Material and
other pertinent information such as press releases and presentation slides are released to the SGX-ST via
SGXNET and the REIT Website. Both announcements through the REIT Website and the SGXNET are the
principal media of communication with Unitholders. In FY 2022, the CEO and IR Manager have met with
potential investors and analysts through meetings and roadshows. Further details on the various activities
organised by IR during the year can be found in the IR section on pages 74 to 76 of this Annual Report.
An electronic copy of the FY 2022 Annual Report has been uploaded on the REIT Website. Unitholders can
access the FY 2022 Annual Report at http://bhgreit.listedcompany.com/ar.html.
The Trust Deed constituting the REIT is also available for inspection upon request at the Manager's office.1
1Prior appointment with the Manager is appreciated.
Engagement with Stakeholders
Principle 13: The Board adopts an inclusive approach by considering and balancing the needs and
interests of material stakeholders, as part of its overall responsibility to ensure that the best interests of
the company are served.
The Board's role includes considering sustainability as part of its strategic formulation. The Manager
adopts an inclusive approach for the REIT by considering and balancing the needs and interests of material
stakeholders, as part of the overall strategy to ensure that the best interests of BHG Retail REIT are
served. The Manager is committed to sustainability and incorporates the key principles of environmental
and social responsibility, and corporate governance in the REIT's business strategies and operations. The
Board oversees sustainability matters and manages such matters through the Sustainability Officer and
the individual committees. The Manager has arrangements in place to identify and engage with material
stakeholder groups and to manage the REIT's relationships with such groups. Such arrangements include
maintaining the REIT Website, which is kept updated with current information to facilitate communication
and engagement with the REIT's stakeholders.
Dealings in BHG Retail REIT Units
The Manager has adopted an internal compliance standard operating policy to provide guidance to its
Directors, key officers and employees in respect of dealings in the REIT's Units. The policy permits the
Directors and the Manager's key officers and employees to purchase Units, but sets clear limits on the
- Any officer or employee who wishes to purchase Units must complete a Staff Dealing Application Form
and obtain approval from the Compliance Manager, CEO and Chairman of the Manager;
- If the REIT's financial results are reported semi-annually, a blackout period will be imposed one month
prior to the half year and full year announcements of the REIT's financial results. If the REIT's financial
results are reported quarterly, a blackout period will be imposed two weeks prior to the announcement
of the REIT's financial results for each of the first three quarters of the financial year, and one month prior
to the full year announcement of the REIT's financial results. During the blackout period, Directors, key
officers and employees and related companies of the Beijing Hualian Group are strictly prohibited from
dealing in Units; and
- Directors, key officers and employees are further prohibited from dealing in Units if they are in possession
of insider information.
Directors, officers and employees should not deal in Units on short-term considerations.
Conflicts of Interests
The Manager has established the following controls to deal with potential conflicts of interest:
- The Manager will not manage any other real estate investment trust which invests in the same type
of properties as the REIT;
- All key executive officers will work exclusively for the Manager and will not hold other executive
positions in other entities;
- In respect of matters in which a Director or his or her associates (as defined in the Listing Manual
of the SGX-ST) has an interest, direct or indirect, such Director will abstain from voting. In such
matters, the quorum must comprise a majority of the Directors (excluding such Interested
- All resolutions in writing of the Directors in relation to matters concerning the REIT must be
decided by at least a majority vote of the Directors (excluding any Interested Director), including
at least one (1) Independent Director;
- At least one-third (1/3) of the Board shall comprise Independent Directors;
- In respect of matters in which the Sponsor and/or its subsidiaries have an interest, direct or indirect,
any nominees appointed by the Sponsor and/or its subsidiaries to the Board to represent their
interest will abstain from deliberation and voting on such matters. In such matters the quorum
must comprise a majority of the Independent Directors and must exclude Nominee Directors of
the Sponsor and/or its subsidiaries. The Manager is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the
- The Manager will ensure that the Property Manager puts in place the necessary procedures to
prevent the unauthorised disclosure of confidential information relating to the REIT.
It is also provided in the Trust Deed that if the Manager is required to decide whether or not to take any
action against any person in relation to any breach of any agreement entered into by the Trustee for and
on behalf of the REIT with a related party of the Manager, the Manager shall be obliged to consult with a
reputable law firm (acceptable to the Trustee) who shall provide legal advice on the matter. If the said law
firm is of the opinion that the Trustee has a prima facie case against the party allegedly in breach under
such agreement, the Manager shall be obliged to take appropriate action in relation to such agreement. The
Directors of the Manager (including its Independent Directors) will have a duty to ensure that the Manager
so complies. Further, the Manager shall inform the Trustee as soon as it becomes aware of any breach of
any agreement entered into by the Trustee for and on behalf of the REIT with a related party of the Manager
and the Trustee may take such action as it deems necessary to protect the rights of the Unitholders and/or
which is in the interests of the Unitholders. Any decision by the Manager not to take action against a related
party of the Manager shall not constitute a waiver of the Trustee's right to take such action as it deems fit
against such related party.
Related Party/Interested Person Transactions
The Manager has established controls and reporting measures for handling Related Party/Interested
Person Transactions. These ensure that such transactions are conducted on normal commercial terms
and do not prejudice the interest of the Unitholders.
Further, the Manager maintains a register to record all transactions which may be considered as Related
Party/Interested Person Transactions. The register is subject to regular review by the ARC in ensuring that
the Manager conducts itself in accordance with the Listing Manual of the SGX-ST and the Property Funds
Appendix of the Code on Collective Investment Schemes ("CIS") Code.
Transactions (whether a single transaction or a series of transactions involving the same Interested Person
calculated together in aggregate over the course of the financial year) which exceed S$100,000 in value but
are below 3% of the REIT's net tangible assets are subject to review by the ARC and the Trustee.
Transactions (whether a single transaction or a series of transactions involving the same Interested Person
calculated together in aggregate over the course of a financial year) which are valued between 3% to
5% of the REIT's net tangible assets are subject to an announcement by the Manager to the SGX-ST via
SGXNET, and are further subject to review by the ARC and the Trustee prior to the Manager undertaking
Transactions (whether a single transaction or a series of transactions involving the same Interested Person
calculated together in aggregate over the course of a financial year) which are valued at 5% and above of
the REIT's net tangible assets are subject to an announcement by the Manager to the SGX-ST via SGXNET,
approval from the Unitholders prior to the transaction being entered into, and are further subject to review by
the ARC, the Trustee, and an independent financial adviser. The Interested Person Transactions undertaken
by the Manager are set out at the Interested Person Transactions section of this Annual Report.
Fees Payable to the Manager
Under the CIS Code, the Manager must justify the fees that are payable out of the deposited property of
the fund, detailing the methodology and justification of each type of fee. The methodology for computing
each type of fee is documented under Note 1 of the Notes to Financial Statements. The Manager earns
a management fee for the management of the REIT's portfolio. For FY 2022, the Manager has elected to
receive 100% of its management fee in the form of cash. The fee comprises two (2) components: the base
fee and performance fee, which are detailed as follows:
The base fee is calculated as a percentage of the distributable income and is payable on a quarterly
basis. This fee allows the Manager to cover administrative and operation overheads. The Manager is
entitled to receive a base fee not exceeding 10.0% per annum (or such lower percentage as the Manager
may determine in its absolute discretion) of the annual distributable income. The Manager may elect to
receive the fee in cash, Units, or a combination of cash and Units in any proportion it may determine, and
the base fee shall be payable quarterly in arrears.
The performance fee is calculated based on an objective which aligns with the interest of Unitholders as
a whole - it is payable only if the DPU in any financial year exceeds the DPU in the preceding financial
year. The Manager is entitled to receive a performance fee of 25.0% per annum of the difference in DPU
in a financial year with the DPU in the preceding financial year (calculated before accounting for the
performance fee but after accounting for the base fee in each financial year) multiplied by the weighted
average number of Units in issue for such financial year. The Manager may elect to receive the fee in cash,
Units, or a combination of cash and Units in any proportion it may determine, and the performance fee
shall be payable annually.
For the purpose of computation of the performance fee, the DPU is calculated based on all income arising
from the operations of the REIT. These include, but are not limited to, rentals, interest, dividends and other
similar payments and income arising from the authorised investments of the REIT, but exclude one-off
income such as income arising from any sale or disposal of real estate (whether directly or indirectly
through one or more SPVs) or any part thereof, and any investments forming part of the deposited
property or any part thereof. For the purpose of computation of the performance fee for FY 2022, the
DPU for 2022 (being 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022, both dates inclusive) is compared against the
DPU in 2021. This method of computation is provided for in the Trust Deed.
Other Fees – Acquisition Fee
The Manager is also entitled to an acquisition fee under clause 15.2 of the Trust Deed. This is earned upon
the completion of an acquisition. The acquisition fee serves as an incentive and motivation for the Manager,
as the Manager will expend a substantial amount of time, effort and resources in locating, reviewing
and completing the acquisition process with the aim of growing the REIT's portfolio and providing the
Unitholders with regular and stable distributions. The fee is equivalent to 0.75% for acquisitions from
Related Parties/Interested Persons and 1.0% for all other cases. In accordance with the Property Funds
Appendix, where the Manager receives a percentage-based fee when the REIT acquires real estate from
a Related Party/Interested Person, the acquisition fee should be in the form of Units issued by the REIT,
and these Units may not be sold within one (1) year from the date of their issuance.
Other Fees – Divestment Fee
The Manager is entitled to a divestment fee under clause 15.2 of the Trust Deed, and is earned upon the
completion of a divestment. The payment of the fee seeks to incentivise and motivate the Manager in
actively seeking to maximise the value of the REIT by optimising its portfolio. The fee is equivalent to
0.50% for divestments. In accordance with the Property Funds Appendix, where the Manager receives
a percentage-based fee when the REIT divests real estate to a Related Party/Interested Person, the
divestment fee should be in the form of Units issued by the REIT, and these Units should not be sold
within one (1) year from the date of their issuance.