Corporate governance 2005
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Corporate governance 2005

Steps along the right path

Many emerging-market companies are making concerted efforts to improve levels of transparency and disclosure to shareholders. Prashant Rao looks at how regulators and supranational agencies are helping to promote better corporate governance, and Euromoney reveals the best companies in the field across emerging markets. Research by Paul Pedzinski.

IN NOVEMBER 1864, Abraham Lincoln wrote: "I see in the future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country... Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow... God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless." Nearly 140 years later, Lincoln's statement seems scarily prophetic, with scandals at Enron and WorldCom in the US and Parmalat in Europe having shaken investor confidence, the last of which revealed a €4 billion hole in the Italian company's accounts, the biggest European corporate scandal to date.

Since then corporate governance has shot up the list of priorities for investors that seek assurances of how transparent a company is and how independent its board is.

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