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Governance boost for Russian corporates

The conclusion from a Transparency and Disclosure report by S&P, the ratings agency, shows that Russian corporates are gradually improving their transparency to investors; the general level of transparency has improved from 34% in 2002 to 39% in 2003.

The survey, carried out with the help of 60 Russian corporates, followed three key criteria: ownership structure and investor relations; financial and operational information; board and management structure and processes.

Julia Kochetygova, director of governance services at S&Ps, comments: "We are trying to assess the average level of corporate transparency in Russia in relation to the level desired by reasonable investors, ie, easily accessible disclosure of the major parameters of a company's operations, performance, and governance structures."

The conclusions will bring a little cheer to Russia's corporate environment which has been bedevilled by outside perceptions of political corruption for much of the last decade. "Corporate transparency is key to investor attractiveness and is one of the major components of S&Ps corporate governance analysis", adds Kochetygova.

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