Draft bill for law governing public capital companies presented

The Macau SAR Executive Council has today (Friday) presented a new law proposal to oversee the functioning and oversight of public capital companies.

According to Sonia Chan, director of the Office for the Planning of Supervision of Public Assets in the Macau Special Administrative Region (GPSAP), there are currently 23 companies with public capital, of which 16 were totally owned by the SAR and the remaining holding a smaller government capital share.

“For his year we don’t have the total of capital involved but last year these companies represented MOP50 billion (US$6.1 billion) in public capital,” Sonia Chan added.

The former Secretary for Administration and Justice noted that currently these public capital companies are established and regulated by the general commercial code, with specific regulations needed to be established for these entities.

Currently, publicly owned companies are also distributed according to the nature of their activities, to be under the supervision of the tutelary entities of different areas, with authorities looking to centralise and uniformise decision-making procedures in these public asset companies.

A public consultation was already carried out on this bill proposal, with authorities saying the public generally agrees with the proposed guidelines, which were said to take as reference legislation in other countries and regions.

The bill draft defines the constitution, operation, operation and supervision of companies with public capital are regulated, as well as the exercise of the rights of holders of public capital.

The definition of what constitutes a public capital company and the scope of application of the proposed law will be clearly defined, as well as the general principles that public capital companies and holders of public participation must comply with.

It also establishes the roles of the companies’ general assembly the board of directors and the supervisory board, the appointment of the members of the bodies of public capital companies and the requirements for the exercise of these functions.

Financial statements of public capital companies will also have to be audited by an accountant qualified to exercise the profession or society of accountants qualified to practice the profession and their financial information divulged to the public.

The GPSAP was officially set up in December 2019 with one of its main tasks so far the establishment of guidelines for publicly-funded companies to publicise information, including annual reports, shareholder structure, board structure and other basic information.