Corporate governance of state-owned enterprises

Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises: A Survey of OECD Countries



Date of publication:
12 December 2005


This publication is available in English, French and Chinese.


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Globalisation has heightened the need to enhance the corporate governance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in many countries, especially where SOEs significantly affect economic performance because of their weight in the national economy. 

This survey provides a broad comparative overview of SOE governance in OECD countries. It provides a wealth of information, including examples of successes and failures of past reform efforts. It highlights the key challenges to be addressed by the state as a corporate owner and provides a framework to help governments assess and improve the way they exercise their ownership function and ensure a level-playing field for private and state-owned enterprises. It also shows the importance of making progress in transparency and disclosure by SOEs and strengthening SOE governing boards.


Based on extensive research in OECD countries, this survey underpinned development of the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises, adopted in April 2005, which established the first international benchmark in this area.


The analytical part of the report examines the scale of these enterprises in OECD countries, organisation of the ownership function, relationships with non-state shareholders, the role of stakeholders in corporate governance, transparency and disclosure, and the board of directors. Tables in the annex compare legal status, transparency and disclosure, and board composition and functions, and CEO appointment and remuneration policies of state-owned enterprises across countries.


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