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Business / Finance

RBC: Experts have recorded the reluctance of large companies to become more transparent

Banki.ru: monitoring of the banking press 19.12.2018 at 07:20

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Most large Russian companies are not ready to disclose non-financial indicators, such as activities in the field of corporate social responsibility or for the prevention of corruption. These are the results of the study (there RBC), the Russian regional network for integrated reporting in partnership with group of companies "Da-Strategy", Institute for economic strategies, International investment law Agency and the auditing company "Neksia Pacholi". Research of corporate transparency carried out in 2013. In 2018 analyzed more than 1140 companies.

two-thirds of companies do not disclose any information at all or do so only in accordance with the formal requirements of the Central Bank, the study said.

In may 2017, the government approved the Concept of development of public sustainability reporting. In this regard, to 2021-2022 years of over a thousand companies will be required to publish financial statements, said the head of the analytical centre "Yes-Strategy" Alexey Zhuravlev on the presentation of the study. "Two-thirds of companies will face significant difficulties in disclosure of information," he said.

As noted in the report, the concept has not yet become a significant incentive to increase the transparency of companies. "We assumed that, as in the Russian proverb "Prepare sledge in summer, and cart in winter", companies start to prepare in advance. But it was like the proverb "While the thunder will not clap, the peasant will not cross", — said Zhuravlev.

non-financial performance of companies — for example, data about the impact on society and the environment (Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG) is reflected in the ratings and influence the investment attractiveness of the business. The majority of international and large national companies disclose non-financial results to compare them with each other.

the Ministry of economic development has developed a draft law with the requirements of the disclosure of such information. As reported by RBC representative of the Ministry, the document has already been submitted to the government.

Now discussed the list of indicators, which will be obliged to report company. Among them — the data about corruption cases and the number of people fired close to retirement age.

according to the First concept in 2019-2020 should report of the state Corporation and state-owned companies, public companies, economic companies and Unitary enterprises with state participation above 50%, revenue of more than RUB 10 billion and a staff of more than 4 thousand employees. Foremost economic entities and state Unitary enterprises with revenue of more than RUB 5 billion and a staff of more than 2 thousand employees will come in 2021 or 2022.

Stagnant transparency

the report's Authors came to the conclusion about the stagnation in the development of corporate transparency in Russia. And the formed in recent years, a group of leading companies has remained unchanged.

In 2014, companies with different legal forms had the opportunity to decide to become AO or PAO. "We saw that companies have become more to leave the zone of opacity, to define themselves as AO, which is not required to disclose information," — said Zhuravlev.

"We are seeing that more and more companies disclose non-financial indicators, beyond formal requirements," argues the Director for corporate governance Prosperity Capital Management Denis Spirin. The fact that many large companies publish non-financial reports in their own format, for example, combining an annual report reporting on sustainable development. "In addition, this year a large number of companies that went to IPO", — said the expert.

During the year there was 11 of delisting on the Moscow exchange. Nine companies from the sample of the study, which were previously disclosed statements were opaque. "Among them are companies that came under sanctions, and did not disclose information allowed by the law," said Spirin.

Most companies only comply with the formal requirements of the Central Bank or does not publish financial statements, according to the study. Deciding whether to reveal additional information, the average Manager thinks first and foremost about threats in the second turn — on costs, and only in last turn — the opportunities that will open before him, said RBC the results of a study partner NAFCO Irina Mostovaya.

"is sustainability reporting really makes a company is very transparent for investors, but after all and for competitors too. To disclose non-financial indicators't like because it complicates the maintenance of a fair fight. In Russia the competition is burdened by a huge share of state companies in the economy, which are the most important figures in many markets, and private companies prefer to be invisible and impenetrable from the point of view of accountability, because otherwise they can expect the takeover" — says Bridge.

But there is a positive

In December 2017, the Central Bank recommended that issuers disclose the income of all top managers. "Business listened: 190 companies (80%) this year revealed information about the structure of the remuneration of members of boards of Directors," — said Zhuravlev.

this year also increased the number of companies disclosing information on strategic priorities, sustainable development, data on the impact on society and the environment. Experts explained this trend past the "Year of ecology" and the current "Year of the volunteer". "Moreover, some Russian companies have said they plan to issue "green" bonds," the report reads ("green" bonds are used to raise funds to renewable energy projects, clean transportation, etc.).

in a Significant way on the content of non-financial reporting is impacted by the state program "Digital economy". Almost half of the companies — leaders of transparency felt it important to talk about their digital transformation projects, while a year earlier only ten companies mentioned the projects of digitalization. "We didn't expect that this HYIP will reach and statements," — said Zhuravlev. "Companies that do not adopt digital technologies, are lagging behind their competitors, so obviously the desire of business to highlight their progress in this area," commented Spirin. "The story of digital transformation is a fad. Now all companies are embracing digital technology, but so far it does not give them sorrentinos," the skeptical Bridge.

Olga AGEEVA