Submitted by: Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program
Posted: Oct 10, 2007 – 05:35 PM EST
October 10, 2007 - Today, the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program publishes its ninth semi-annual Survey of Reporting on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the Ten Largest Listed Companies (by market capitalization) in 11 Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries. This edition of the survey was co-financed by DWS Investments (Deutsche Bank Group). PFS Program Interns Martin Masse (Canada), Ivan Sentevski (Serbia) and Emilia Swiatczak (Poland) as well as PFS Program Assistant Magdalena Grabowska conducted the survey from August through October 2007. Additional co-financing for the Canadian intern was provided by MBAs Without Borders, whose mission is to contribute to the business and social development of transition economies through work rotations of MBA professionals.
Companies in Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia were surveyed for the ninth time; companies in Hungary and Poland were surveyed for the eighth time; and companies in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania were surveyed for the seventh time. Moreover, a third-time analysis of peer companies (the ten largest listed companies by market capitalization) in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) as well as Ukraine allows for benchmarking with these emerging market peers for the third time.
PFS Program surveys analyze the annual reports and websites of the ten largest listed companies in the above-mentioned 11 CEE countries in order to document the current disclosure practices of this “blue-chip” peer group and identify best practice among the peer group. Whereas the universe of companies surveyed may change over time due to changes in a company’s market capitalization, the semi-annual surveys of reporting on CSR represent a snapshot of this peer group’s CSR disclosure practices on a given day twice a year. Furthermore, by analyzing disclosures in both annual reports and websites, the surveys track the timing of the publication of the annual report and the related yet separate issue of periodic disclosure, namely, how blue-chip companies keep their websites data-rich and up-to-date. The surveys enable companies to benchmark their disclosure practices against peers on a national, industry and regional basis.
This survey analyzes companies' disclosures in English (in the English-language annual report and on the English-language company website) during the time period August - September 2007 on the following three topics: corporate governance, environmental policy and social policy. The record date for the disclosures is September 15, 2007.
This edition of the survey documents a generally higher level of online disclosure of corporate governance information, continuing the trend over the past four years. Slightly more information is also disclosed in the area of social policy, compared with the previous survey published in May 2007. Significant progress remains to be made in disclosing information on environmental policy.
Overall, companies in BRIC outperform CEE peers in terms of the availability of English-language websites and annual reports as well as specific disclosures in all three areas. With regards to corporate governance, the most significant difference concerns compliance with a corporate governance code and disclosure of a code of business conduct/code of ethics in both the website and annual report. In general, BRIC companies also provide more information on social policy and environmental policy. Due to the lack of a number of drivers, Ukrainian companies lag behind both BRIC and CEE peers in all areas
22 of the 110 CEE companies surveyed (20%) provide a stand-alone environmental, social and governance (ESG) report online in English on the record date of September 15, 2007. This demonstrates continuation of an ongoing trend: 19 of the 110 companies surveyed (17%) published such a report in April 2007, compared with 17 companies (15%) in September 2006.
Survey findings include the following:
Starting today, the survey is available online at:
About the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) established the Partners for Financial Stability (PFS) Program in 1999 as a public-private partnership to help complete reforms necessary to create sound, private and well-functioning financial sectors in the eight Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries that have since joined the European Union. In 2005, the geographical focus of the program shifted to South East Europe (SEE).
East-West Management Institute (EWMI), a New York-based not-for-profit organization, is currently the primary implementing partner.
The PFS Program is mandated to fill remaining gaps in the institutional development of the financial sector in CEE and SEE countries through regional integration and cooperation, selective technical assistance programs and the practical application of lessons learned in neighboring countries. The substantive areas covered under the PFS Program are: accounting, auditing, banking, capital markets, insurance and pension reform. For more information, please visit the PFS Program website at http://www.pfsprogram.org
About DWS Investments
Deutsche Bank has entrusted the Asset Management business to two specialists: Deutsche Asset Management (DeAM), a market leader for institutional investment solutions and DWS Investments for mutual funds.
DeAM is one of the world's largest investment managers, with more than 700 investment and client service professionals in a global network of offices and with over 3800 people in the world´s major financial centers. This allows us to achieve truly global coverage of markets and sectors. We provide investment services to clients who have entrusted us with more than EUR 500 billion in assets under management. Our diverse institutional client base includes pension funds, insurances, corporations, banks and local government authorities. In delivering services for its institutional clients, DeAM collaborates with a strong partner: DWS Investments, who offers funds that are specially designed for our diverse institutional client base. We are committed to producing consistent, risk-controlled performance for our clients and adding value through all stages. As a leading partner for institutional investors, DeAM focuses on active and quantitative management, offering a comprehensive range of investment vehicles and a full spectrum of traditional and non-traditional strategies.
With its office in Vienna, DWS Investments offers individual concepts for institutional clients in Austria, extending its services also to Central and Eastern Europe. It provides expertise in finding the right, individual investment solutions and accompanies the client in every step of the process.
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