12 Dec 2006 16:22

Interfax and AK&M Award 2006 Transparency Prize to Severstal

The Interfax and AK&M news agencies have declared Severstal to be this year‘s company to have shown the promptest and most detailed disclosure of information for potential investors.

The annual prize "For an Active Corporate Policy of Information Disclosure" was instituted by Interfax and AK&M, as authorized agencies, for share-issuing companies in 2003.

The 2006 prize was handed to Severstal representatives at a ceremony in Moscow on December 12.

"The four-year history of our prize is a good illustration of progress made by companies in recent years toward information transparency," President of the Financial, Economic and Industrial Information Service of the Interfax Information Services Group Vladimir Gerasimov said.

"In 2003, we sought to encourage the few companies that fulfilled the regulator‘s requirements completely and on time. Today, when an overwhelming majority of corporate reports meet the toughest of deadlines, we only award companies for special achievements.

"In our view, Severstal, which has carried out one of its largest share placement projects and has taken active part in consolidating the industry as a whole in 2006, offering investors maximum transparency, is a case in point," Gerasimov said.

In selecting the winner, the jury looks at a candidate‘s daily publications, checks whether the candidate meets requirements for the disclosure of key facts, whether it has been publishing additional information, how promptly it has published its accounts based on international accounting standards, and tests the quality of its quarterly reports.

Some of these criteria are objective, for example, the number of reports published, others are subjective, for example, expert assessments of how detailed and accessible the candidate‘s information has been.

The candidates are companies that have issued securities via open subscription and/or have issued derivatives, and/or have been listed on stock exchanges.

Interfax and AK&M, as authorized agencies, offer their own resources for the disclosure of principal information by companies. The number of companies using the disclosure system set up by the two agencies, www.e-disclosure.ru, now numbers nearly 10,000, compared with 5,000 early in 2005 and 2,000 in January 2004.

In October 2003, the stock market regulator made it binding for share-issuing companies to disclose information on their key events through the newswires of authorized news agencies.

The prize "For an Active Corporate Policy of Information Disclosure" was won by the Kalina Concern in 2003, by the Mechel Group in 2004, and by Russian Railways (RZD) in 2005.