CEE Company ranking 2006: Home-grown state success stories
The rush of foreign investment into central and eastern Europe has undoubtedly improved standards of corporate governance. But the results of this year’s Euromoney survey of the best companies in the region reveal that some state-owned companies that might prove difficult to acquire also rate highly for their management standards. Lawrence White reports.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING assessments of two companies operating in central and eastern Europe by a research analyst.
One company, the analyst says, “seldom replies to questions, and its management is reluctant to meet analysts, and they don’t really seem bothered about their share price”.
Writing about another company, the analyst notes: “Management really cares about shareholder value, their accounts are extremely transparent and they have a superbly communicative investor relations department.”
One of the companies is state-owned and only operates in CEE; the other is part of a conglomerate that sells in more than 160 countries, has a 14.5% share of the global market and employs more than 60,000 people worldwide. So which assessment refers to which company?
Shrewd readers might have already realized that the answer is not in line with conventional wisdom: the first comment is lambasting tobacco group Philip Morris International’s eastern European business; the words of praise are for CEZ, a Czech power producer that has triumphed in this year’s Euromoney poll of best companies in central and eastern Europe.