15 Nov 2013 16:41

Interfax expands access to information on Russian companies

Interfax Information Services Group has launched the updated resource www.e-disclosure.ru, providing access to current and archived information on the activities 30,000 Russian companies, along with their quarterly and annual reporting.

Individual pages created for 15,000 Russian issuers provide exhaustive information on each company: incorporation data, annual and quarterly financial statements, issue documents, charters, essential facts and lists of affiliates.

All statistics on the information activities of companies have become completely open. According to these data, for example, the leader by number of issued statements is the National Settlement Depository (NSD) with almost 900 since the beginning of the year, followed by oil company Rosneft with more than 500 statements.

The most frequent, according to November statistics, are company announcements on the publication of quarterly financial statements.

Russian issuers and open joint-stock companies released a total of 226,700 statements on material events through authorized agencies, one of which is Interfax, in the first nine months of 2013.

"The new www.e-disclosure.ru covers all information that is supposed to be disclosed by companies and provides convenient, fast access to it. We saw our objective as enabling investors and analysts to obtain all corporate information that is supposed to be disclosed by Russian issuers on one resource," the director of Interfax‘s Information Disclosure Service, Dmitry Olenkov said.

The Russian system of information disclosure is based on the infrastructure of authorized agencies, working directly with financial market participants through electronic channels for dissemination of information.

The system was created exactly ten years on the British model and has proven effective. Agencies have provided instant reporting of important information to all investors and market participants, reducing the risks of insider trading and making information genuinely accessible to the public.

"Now few remember that at the beginning of the 2000s all everyone was saying was that disclosure was bad and investor rights were being violated. Today virtually no one recalls this, and this is clear evidence that the problem has been solved, and solved quite effectively," Financial Consumer Protection Union chairman Igor Kostikov, who headed Russia‘s Federal Securities Market Commission at the time, said.

In the past ten years, regulators have continually toughened standards for companies and agencies. The list of disclosure subjects and the range of information accessible through agencies have expanded, and the system has become more convenient for users. At first, only issuers of securities and the organizers of trading on the stock market disclosed information through agencies, then they were joined by the managers of mutual funds, incorporated funds and individual acquiring large equity stakes in companies. With the implementation of the new Regulation on Information Disclosure in 2012, companies began to disclose financial statements in addition to material facts on the websites of agencies, not only on their own websites.

As a result, all information that is supposed to be published by thousands of companies has become accessible in the consolidated centers of corporate information disclosure created on the basis of agencies. This meets the demand from Russian and foreign investors for a consolidated archive of information.

The Russian system meets the basic standards for similar systems in mature markets, providing broad, free and unlimited access to information; providing all information in electronic form; and allowing issuers to choose among competing media. A unique feature of the Russian system is that all the latest information is duplicated among agencies, ensuring the operation of five identical and interchangeable databases.

There are now about 30,000 companies registered in the disclosure system; 3,860 companies disclose the complete list of material facts, while the remainder, by law, publish annual financial statements and lists of affiliated parties.

A discussion on the latest problems in the area of information disclosure will be held on November 15 at the Federal Investment Forum as part of the conference Corporate Issuer: Modern Technologies and International Standards in Information Disclosure. Speakers will include representatives of the Central Bank of Russia‘s Financial Markets Service, authorized agencies, corporate issuers, leading depositories and analysts.