SGX wants firms to appoint locally registered auditors
Proposals by Singapore Exchange (SGX) to strengthen auditing standards are open for public consultations.
The key move will require firms to appoint locally registered auditors, although the exchange is also seeking powers to appoint an additional auditor in some cases.
Foreign issuers that want to use foreign auditors must also engage an auditor registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority to act in a joint capacity.
There are also steps to tighten up the way firms value property.
The moves come after regulators faced criticism over the way they handled the near-collapse of commodity trader Noble Group in 2018.
Noble was given a clean bill of health for three years even though there were reports of accounting irregularities.
The SGX announced proposed changes to its accounting oversight in January last year.
It was reported then that 15 to 20 listed companies did not have Singapore-based auditors.
Mr Tan Boon Gin, chief executive of the regulatory arm SGX RegCo, said: "Requiring all listed companies to appoint a Singapore-registered auditor and giving SGX RegCo the power to appoint an additional auditor will also increase the accountability of auditors and improve investor confidence in audits."
The regulator is also proposing measures to improve reporting standards for firms recording property valuations.
These include ensuring valuers have at least five years' relevant experience.
Valuers should also be a member of the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) or a similar professional body in the home jurisdiction with the powers to discipline and revoke membership.
SGX RegCo also proposed that issuers and listing applicants comply with the SISV standards for the valuation of properties in Singapore, so that investors can get comparable information across reports.
Public feedback on the proposed measures can be lodged with SGX RegCo until Feb 14.