Indian companies are the most transparent while Chinese firms the most opaque, a global anti-graft watchdog on Monday said in a new report that assessed efforts of emerging companies to fight corruption.
Berlin-based Transparency International in its report said: “Indian companies have the highest average score of any country — they all score 75 per cent or more — in organisational transparency largely due to the Companies Act.”
Dominating the top spots
Indian firms dominated the top spots in organisational transparency with Telecom company Bharti Airtel taking the first place with a score of 7.3 out of 10, followed by six units of conglomerate Tata and technology company Wipro, the report said.
The report covered 100 companies in 15 emerging market countries that also included Brazil, Mexico and Russia.
“In India, the Companies Act requires firms to disclose key financial information on all subsidiaries wherever they are located, resulting in Indian companies achieving the strongest score in this dimension,” the anti-graft watchdog said.
Mostly Chinese firms fare badly
Nine companies (eight from China and one from Mexico) were awarded the lowest possible score of 0 per cent. Fifty-four out of the 100 companies score above average (50 per cent or more).
Chinese companies, which account for a third of those assessed, had the weakest overall performance, scoring an average of 1.6 out of 10 with just one, telecom gear maker ZTE, making it to the top 25.
“The very weak Chinese results stem from weak or non-existent anti-corruption policies and procedures, or a clear failure to disclose them in line with international best practice,” it added.
‘Urgent need to fight corruption’
Transparency International said the report’s findings highlighted an urgent need for big multinational companies to do more to fight corruption.
It said the high average score of 77 per cent among Indian companies increases the overall average. In addition, 54 out of the 100 firms in this report score higher than 50 per cent in this dimension, while, among the companies in the global 2014 report, only 34 out of 124 score over 50 per cent.
The average score fell slightly by 0.2 compared to the last time the survey was taken in 2013, it said.
‘Pathetic levels of transparency’
“Pathetic levels of transparency in big emerging market companies raises the question of just how much the private sector cares about stopping corruption, stopping poverty where they do business and reducing inequality,” said Jose Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.