27 Jun 2006 15:47

Interfax and Business Wire announce strategic partnership in disclosing Russian company information abroad

Interfax Information Services Group has signed an agreement with Business Wire, a world leader in commercial news distribution, that provides for offering Russian companies a full range of disclosure services in keeping with the legal requirements effective in different parts of the world.

Combined with the capabilities Interfax has in Russia where it acts as the authorized agent of the Federal Financial Markets‘ Service the partnership with Business Wire should guarantee Russian issuer companies the possibility of comprehensive and simultaneous disclosure fulfillment.

"Russian companies are increasingly active in placing shares and other financial instruments abroad. Many of them are planning to enter the listings of exchanges in Great Britain and the United States and are therefore interested in attracting the attention of the international investment community. However, the requirements of regulators to companies differ from country to country which creates practical problems for companies and often this results in Russian investors receiving the reports and financial statements of companies with a delay or in a reduced format," said Interfax Group Chairman Mikhail Komissar. "We would want to create conditions in which companies could duly disclose all vital market information simultaneously in Russia and abroad without additional trouble and without any damage to any investor group," he said.

“The agreement with Business Wire will broaden Russian companies’ access to best products and services offered on the world market. We pursued the same goal while establishing partnership relations in recent years with other global leaders: Experian, Moody’s Investors Service and Thomson Financial,” Komissar said.

"Business Wire appreciates the opportunity to cooperate with Interfax on this important information initiative," said Neil Hershberg, Business Wire‘s senior vice president, global media. "The timing is right to introduce expanded disclosure options for Russian companies. Interfax is the perfect partner to represent Business Wire‘s commercial interests, given its prominence and prestige in the corporate and financial sectors."

Business Wire offers services to satisfying regulatory obligations in the United States, Great Britain and other countries. For instance, it is the largest newswire EDGAR filer in the United States.

The agreement with Business Wire also provides for cooperation in the commercial distribution of press releases from Russia abroad.

Business Wire, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, is the global leader in commercial news distribution. Thousands of member companies and organizations depend on Business Wire to transmit their full-text press releases, regulatory filings, photos and other information to journalists, financial professionals, investor services, regulatory authorities and the general public worldwide.

Since the end of 2003 Interfax as an authorized agency has been offering free disclosure of key information about issuer companies through its resources. The number of companies using the disclosure system (www.e-disclosure.ru) has grown to almost 8,500.

Over 250 Russian companies are also using Interfax consultation services on full and timely disclosure along all channels, including Internet and the printed press.

Interfax also maintains a freely accessible system of publishing quarterly reports of companies and has set up Russia‘s biggest commercial corporate database SPARK covering over 4,6 million companies.

*** Business Wire was founded in 1961 by Chairman Lorry I. Lokey, veteran journalist and public relations executive. The company‘s multi-channel delivery network, with access to some 60 international and national news agencies, financial information providers and Web-based news services throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, provides real-time, simultaneous access to key audiences -- the news media, trade publications, institutional and individual investors, business-to-business decision-makers and consumers. Business Wire electronically disseminates some 1,000 full-text news releases daily to the media, the Internet, online services and databases, and the global investment community in 150 countries in 45 languages. Business Wire has 24 U.S. offices, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Brussels, Sydney and Tokyo offices, and reciprocal offices throughout the world.

*** Interfax Information Services Group provides news and other information products that are essential for decision-makers in politics and business. Set up in 1989, Interfax Group brings together a network of national, regional, and specialized news agencies operating throughout Russia and other CIS countries, as well as in China and Central Europe. The Group includes companies and divisions that provide news, analytical services, market data, fundamental information and develop software solutions. Since early 1990s, Interfax has been the leading provider of up-to-date news from Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. It is the most frequently quoted source of information on the region. In the past several years, Interfax has also won a reputation as the leading provider of political and financial news from emerging markets in Europe and China.