CLSA's Pioneering Work
10 July 2001
If you are a client of CLSA Emerging Markets (CLSA), then you may well have seen their April 2001 report "Saints & Sinners - Who's got religion?" Now by kind permission of CLSA, the report is available to readers of Webb-site.com, at the link below.
The ground-breaking 224-page report took the scalpel to 495 companies in their core coverage of 25 global emerging markets, providing a corporate governance (CG) score for each one. They also ranked those markets for their macro framework, of laws, regulations, transparency and enforcement. In that ranking, Singapore came first, followed by Hong Kong in second place and Russia in 25th.
We would agree that HK is high on the list, but that makes us one of the "least bad" rather than particularly good. It places HK among the closest to being able to achieve meaningful shareholder participation in corporate governance. Regular readers will know that our HAMS campaign is designed to catalyse this process. We are in the middle of building a substantial list of endorsements of the HAMS initiative, and that will be published in a few weeks time.
Credit should be given to CLSA for breaking the investment bank taboo of criticising their potential corporate clients. Some of those companies who achieved low scores were not happy with the situation, and CLSA may lose some corporate finance business as a consequence. However, it is arguable that these are the hardest companies to sell to investors anyway.
The reward for that willingness to criticise should be an increase in the perceived objectiveness and independence of the firm's research, and we hope other houses will take a lead from this in an era when investment bank analysts are under increasing fire for becoming little more than cheerleaders of new offerings by their corporate finance departments.
Webb-site.com goes orbital
Next week, from 16-20 July, David Webb, Editor of Webb-site.com, will be taking part in a series of presentations on CG hosted by CLSA in London, Edinburgh, Boston and New York, in which we will make our case for investor participation in emerging markets governance, and the endorsement of HAMS as a template for that process. We'll contrast the luxurious standards of CG in the UK and USA with those of emerging markets, and run a few case studies. If you are an institutional client of CLSA and wish to attend, please contact your CLSA representative.
Read the Report
The Saints & Sinners report is a 5,285KB PDF download. To read it in your browser, click here, or if you want to download it, right-click on the link and select "save". If you are on a dial-up account, go and get a cup of coffee. The report is copyright to CLSA Emerging Markets, all rights reserved. The report may not be reproduced or redistributed without their permission.
© Webb-site.com, 2001