Fifty companies were honoured on June 26 for issuing the best annual reports out of almost 600 companies listed on the Hochiminh and Hanoi stock exchanges that took part in the contest.

Of them, 37 are listed on HOSE and 13 on HNX.

The HCM Securities corp. (HSC), which also won the Best of the Best Award, Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (VNM) and PetroVietnam Drilling & Well Services Corp. were among the Top 10.

HSC, VNM and BVH also won the top three prizes for Best Corporate Governance Content.

The Sustainability Reporting Awards were given to five firms – PVD, VNM, BVH, Imexpharm (IMP) and FPT Corp (Financing and Promoting Technology). The jury for selecting the winners from 87 reports that featured sustainable development issues included the World Bank's International Finance Corporation and the UK-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

HOSE CEO Phan Thi Tuong Tam, who was the head of the organising committee and chairwoman of the selection board, said: "Thanks to tremendous efforts by the authorities, media partners, exclusive sponsor, listed firms and other participating institutions, throughout the past eight years the Annual Report Awards have seen the quality of reports rising substantially with more transparent and detailed contents and professional presentation.

"Even better, some firms have aligned their reports to fit international reporting standards. These are indeed remarkable improvements and a great force in making the Vietnamese stock market more transparent."

Pham Nguyen Vinh, business development director at Dragon Capital, said: "Improvements in the annual reporting process and increasing information transparency of listed companies in general will boost the competitiveness of the Vietnamese stock market in terms of attracting foreign capital and helping avoid excessive volatility in capital flows."

Nguyen Nguyet Anh, corporate governance officer at IFC Vietnam and member of the selection board, said: "Many firms have showed a dramatic development when they leverage annual reports as an important channel to connect with investors. The corporate governance section in many reports is also in line with the best international standards."

Experts judging the Sustainability Report Awards from the IFC and ACCA said it was exciting to see many more firms paying close attention to sustainability reporting during the three years since the awards were instituted.

To Vi Hung of the ACCA, the head of the selection board for the Sustainability Report Awards, praised the reports for having greater detail now and including more social and environmental objectives besides the firm's charity activities.

Another highlight of this year's award is the increasing number of firms that have used the IFC's criteria and GRI's G4 Standards as references. Such reports are often clearer, more detailed and more reliable, which results in better scores for the firms.

The ceremony this year also included a seminar on corporate governance attended by experts from the Central Institute of Economic Management, leading ASEAN firms, Dragon Capital, and HOSE.-VNA