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Wed, Mar 20, 2002 - Page 21 News List

Asian companies watched

AFP , MANILA

Asian companies will face greater market scrutiny from investors in terms of disclosure and transparency following the Enron scandal, Moody's Investors Service and French bank BNP Paribas said yesterday.

"The clear issue we have always emphasised in the region is need for disclosure and transparency and I think Enron openly serves to emphasise that for a company outside of the region," the senior vice president of global ratings agency Moody's, Brian Cahill, told a news conference here.

He was speaking with BNP Paribas officials after they jointly held a briefing for Manila-based investors. Energy trading giant Enron Corp, the seventh largest US company, collapsed recently after concealing losses from shareholders through a maze of outside partnerships.

"If you are talking about an issue of transparency and disclosure of information, its often been said that Asia lacks a degree of transparency in information disclosure," Cahill said.

He said that "at least in the short term," there would be a greater global emphasis on disclosure by markets.

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