24 Nov 2006 16:19

SPARK database encompasses over 9 million companies

SPARK, Russia’s largest company database, currently offers information on more than 9 million companies, including individual entrepreneurs and enterprises that are not legal entities.

“The overall size of the database has nearly quadrupled over the past year, which allows us to say that it now encompasses Russia’s entire business community, including individual entrepreneurs,” SPARK project head Roman Laba said. “In 2007, we are planning to again considerably increase the number of information sources that can be accessed through the system and to expand its functional possibilities,” he said.

Data from over ten sources are currently placed into the database of the SPARK system, which was created by Interfax Information Services Group in 2004. Key sources include the Federal State Statistics Service, the Federal Financial Markets Services and its regional branches, the Federal Tax Service, the Central Bank, the Federal Property Management Agency, the Federal Insurance Oversight Service, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The system also receives information on bankruptcy cases, court rulings on companies, data disclosed by other companies, information from major depositaries, recommendations and forecasts from analysts at investment banks, and Interfax’s corporate news. In fact, the system offers all company information that is legally accessible in Russia.

Generally speaking, the SPARK system contains registration data on 5.3 million companies, nearly 3.5 million of which are operating, as well as 4.27 million individual entrepreneurs. Among the legal entities, 60,000 are open joint-stock companies, 400,000 are closed joint-stock companies, and 2.3 million are limited liability companies.

The system contains financial reports of more than 1.7 million companies, including last year’s financial reports of over 700,000 companies. Information on 9,000 companies is updated on a daily basis, 298,000 companies have rating scores, which are disclosed by the system automatically based on financial indicators and other factors.

The SPARK system has been broadly used to confirm the legal status of a company, receive contact information, search for potential clients and partners, receive preliminary assessments of a company’s financial staying power and position on the market, disclose information for financial market players, and learn about the nature of affiliation and ties between different companies and groups of companies.

“The SPARK system, which was formed three years ago, has helped make basic information on companies more accessible, generate a more comprehensive picture regarding the structure of Russian business, including for foreign investors, and reduce credit risks. It has also seriously dented the appeal of illegal information sources,” Laba said.

The SPARK database was developed by Interfax-CNA, a specialized analytical service and an Interfax Group member.