The anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has admonished Chinese companies for their opaque business practices, while praising Indian firms’ relatively high standards, in a survey of emerging market multinationals released yesterday.
China got the lowest rating of the BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), whose companies made up three-quarters of the total sample in the survey of 100 of the fastest-growing multinationals in 16 emerging economies.
Marked on how transparently they present measures to combat corruption, how they report on their organizations and how they disclose data like revenue, expenditure and taxes, three-quarters of the companies scored less than five out of 10.
“As emerging market companies expand their influence they should seize the opportunity to play a bigger role stopping corruption internationally,” the Berlin-based independent pressure group head Huguette Labelle said.
Widespread shortcomings included the failure of about 60 percent of all the companies surveyed to disclose information about their political contributions.
“Results show that companies from China lag behind in every dimension with an overall score of 20 percent,” Transparency said in the report. “Considering their growing influence in markets around the world, this poor performance is of concern.”
Eight of the 10 worst performing companies were Chinese, such as state-owned Chery Automobile Co, which along with Mexico’s privately owned consumer goods group Mabe scored zero points.
Chery spokesman Wang Wei said that he had never heard of Transparency International and was never contacted by the organization.
“Chery is not publicly traded, so naturally it is not as transparent as those listed companies,” Wang said, adding that the automaker does publish quarterly and annual results to its bond investors.
Pablo Moreno, Mabe’s corporate affairs director, said the report did not fairly reflect the company’s control and transparency mechanisms because it was based on information available on company Web sites. As a private company, Mabe is not obliged to publicly reveal information related to its business activities, but complies with strict ethics and accountability codes, he added.
Transparency said Indian firms performed best among the BRICS with a result of 54 percent and several occupy the top positions in the overall index, attributing this to laws in India about how multinationals must report on subsidiaries.
Top of the class overall came India’s Tata Communications Ltd, which also topped the anti-corruption programs category with 92 percent, followed by three more Tata companies.
A Tata Communications representative was not immediately able to comment.
Transparency International said public disclosure of anti-bribery measures “confirms a company’s commitment to ethical conduct” and made it easier for the public to monitor them.
Emirates Airline, which is state-owned, came first in the category for organizational transparency, followed by Johnson Electric Holdings Ltd of China and Malaysian state energy company Petronas.
Emirates, Johnson Electric and Petronas were not immediately available to comment.
This category marked firms on their disclosure of data like majority and minority holdings, percentages owned by the parent company and the country of incorporation and operation — all of which is often made “deliberately opaque for the purpose of hiding the proceeds of corruption,” Transparency said.
Eleven companies scored zero in this category, nine of them incorporated in China.
In the third category measuring standards of country-by-country reporting of revenues, capital expenditure, income before tax, income tax and community contributions, the Chilean retailing group Falabella scored highest with 50 percent.
Falabella chief executive officer Sandro Solari said transparency was “a central element in building trust” and it would continue strengthening its ability to deliver information.
“Key financial data give citizens the possibility to understand the activities of a particular company in their country and to monitor the appropriateness of their payments to governments,” Transparency said.
In a sub-index ranking just the BRICS nations, which the watchdog said account for 20 percent of global economic output and 15 percent of world trade, the companies from first-placed India were followed by South Africa, Russia, Brazil, then China.
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
‘SACRIFICED’: Hu Weifeng became the sixth doctor to die from COVID-19 at Wuhan Central Hospital, where calls to raise the alarm over the virus were suppressed The death of a Chinese doctor at Wuhan’s “whistle-blower hospital” has prompted a wave of anger at hospital authorities for not protecting front-line health workers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hu Weifeng (胡衛鋒), 42, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital where the whistle-blower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang (李文亮) worked, died of the virus on Tuesday after a four-month battle. Hu is the sixth doctor from his hospital killed by the virus. Another doctor who spoke out, Ai Fen (艾芬), said that authorities told hospital staff not to wear protective gear so as not to cause panic and reprimanded her for “harming
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear