The competition, sponsored by the newspaper Dau Tu Chung Khoan (Securities Investment) and the fund management company Dragon Capital, is in its fifth year and is aimed at improving the professionalism and transparency of annual reports from listed enterprises.
Timely reports of 2011 earnings submitted to the HCM City Stock Exchange and Ha Noi Stock Exchange prior to April 20 will be selected to participate, with results to be announced on July 10.
"Judging criteria will be based on how companies present information rather than their business performance," said Dau Tu Chung Khoan editor-in-chief Nguyen Anh Tuan, who heads the organizing committee. Judging would focus on how well companies evaluate their operations and explain their financial situation, as well as their abilities to analyze and forecast risks and share information in risk management.
"In the past four years, the best annual reports tended to belong to large enterprises with positive performances," Tuan said. "This was understandable because these companies had advantages of strong financial capacity, good preparation and especially strong awareness of information disclosure requirements."
Transparency in disclosure was necessary for firms to gain investor confidence, he added, yet many companies still consider the regulation as a mandatory task and comply with it only superficially.
HCM City Stock Exchange general director Phan Thi Tuong Tam said companies should pay particular attention to international standards of good governance and insightful analyses of their operations.
Risk prediction and analysis would also be taken into account, she said.
"The contest aims to encourage transparency and effective communication of financial and business information."
Alternative Investment Capital Group chairman Hoang D. Quan said investors lost faith in companies because many were dishonest in providing information.
But Dragon Capital CEO Dominic Scriven said the corporate culture had changed over the past five years, with companies making good financial reports usually having higher business value, reflected in a stronger ability to raise capital.