IMF estimates Global Cost of Bribery at $2tn Annually

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that the annual cost of bribery — just one sub-set of corruption — to be between $1.5 and $2trillion.

This, the Fund estimated to be about two per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It argued that the costs represent the tip of the iceberg, saying the long-term impacts are much deeper.

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Singapore: Disruption in the boardroom

As businesses navigate their way through the collision with the Digital Age and cyclical downturns amid more demanding shareholders, the real board challenge is to look inwards and out to reinvent themselves. The discussion moderated by the Business Times provides some insights that can be gleaned on the areas that boards should devost most time on such as corporate integrity, ethics and accountability.

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Thailand: Krungthai Asset Management launches corporate governance fund

Krungthai Asset Management (KTAM) yesterday launched its corporate governance (CG) mutual fund to capture opportunities from CG companies and the Thai bourse's upward trend.

Investor can subsript for the fund between Sept 20-26, with a required minimum investment of 1,000 baht. The fund will invest up to 80% of net assets under management in companies that have good CG scores. The companies are rated by the Thai Institute of Directors (IoD), which comprises 123 companies.

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Vietnam: OceanBank’s former leaders face life imprisonment and death penalty

Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of life imprisonment for Ha Van Tham, the former chairman of OceanBank and the death penalty for Nguyen Xuan Son, its former general director.

The two are being tried in one of the largest corruption cases in recent years, which also involves dozens of other bankers.

Both are charged with embezzlement, an abuse of power to appropriate assets and intentional violation of State economic management leading to serious consequences. Tham faces one more charge of breaching lending regulations.

Other defendants face sentences ranging from 18 months to 27 years in prison.

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Thailand ranks as the third-worst country in the world: New report on corruption

Thailand returned to the spotlight for the wrong reason again last week as a new report on corruption ranked it as the third-worst country in the world in terms of bribery after India and Vietnam.

The ranking by independent watchdog Transparency International (TI) is based on a survey conducted between July 2015 and January 2017 on 21,800 respondents in 16 countries and territories across the Asia-Pacific.

According to the report, many Thais admitted to paying bribes for basic services. Some 46% said they had bribed the police in the last 12 months while 35% admitted to bribing public schools, often to guarantee placements for their kids.

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Vietnam: Lawmakers to discuss amended AntiCorruption Law

Lawmakers convening today in Hà Nội for 14th session of the National’s Assembly’s Standing Committee are scheduled to discuss an amended Law on Corruption Prevention and Control, giving the State more leverage against officials suspected of corruption.

The revision of the 2005 Law on Anti-Corruption will provide for the formation of an independent office or agency to monitor major changes in assets or income declared by officials. It will be authorised to seek clarification of changes and check the veracity of officials’ answers.
The revised law will also be expanded to include social organisations and enterprises. Accordingly, all social organisations and enterprises will have to conduct internal anti-corruption measures.

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