Poland has the EU’s best growth record in the last five years, but there is a growing awareness that keeping growth high is going to be increasingly difficult in the future – which is why two recent reports on corruption and educational achievements make such good news. Continue reading »
Angola and Brazil have a lot in common: the Portuguese tongue, a delightful stretch of Atlantic coast and a reputation for beautiful people cavorting in beach-side bars. Brazil is Latin America’s powerhouse; Angola likes to think of itself, with some justification, as Africa’s emerging equivalent.
To oilmen and investors, however, the most intriguing thing the two nations share is a piece of geology that dates from the age of the dinosaurs, before the tectonic shifts that rent the landmass in which they were once conjoined. Continue reading »
Justice in action
For the first time in their country’s recent history, Brazilians finally had a taste of seeing politicians going to jail for corruption.
Last Friday – symbolically, the same day that the Proclamation of the Republic is celebrated in Brazil – the court decreed prison for a group of 12 politicians and bankers involved in the scandal of Mensalão or ‘big monthly payment’, the vote-buying scheme in Congress that used public funds to pay bribes. Continue reading »
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich sounded deadly serious during a passionate speech he gave on his administration’s commitment to fighting corruption on Wednesday.
Himself accused of corrupt practices for the way he managed to occupy a lavish estate in a Kiev suburb, it was delivered at a World Economic Forum event in Kiev, a gathering to discuss the nation’s future as the EU summit nears in later this month in Vilnius. But hang on: wasn’t the EBRD supposed to be in town to sign a new anti-corruption Continue reading »
The World Bank’s ease of doing business indicators are very important. If you are, say, the Macedonian trade minister, you will know your country’s ranking – and you will cite it at every opportunity to boost foreign investment. (It’s 25, by the way.)
But behind the scenes is a conflict between several countries over how these rankings are compiled. To some, the methodology is biased in favour of outright deregulation. To others it takes no account of levels of corruption. China is trying hard – with little success so far – to influence the process. Continue reading »
By Bruce Misamore
Ten years ago this month my friend and business colleague, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was arrested at gunpoint in Novosibirsk – the start of a chain of state-sponsored intimidation and corruption in Russia. There is no doubt that the hand of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin was very much at the steering wheel for this very public and televised event. The shock of this political act reverberated around the world – no more so than in the boardroom at Yukos Oil Company headquarters. Continue reading »
From probes into a $750m AgustaWestland helicopter contract to an alleged land grab involving relations of Sonia Gandhi, leader of the ruling Congress party, corruption in India comes from the top down.
A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit and Kroll, a US risk consultancy, has found that 69 per cent of India’s companies were affected by fraud in the last year with an average cost of 1.4 per cent of revenues. Continue reading »
Even the IndyCar Series now appears to have been hit by Venezuela’s currency jousts, another example of the country’s citizens desperately trying to skirt around the country’s tight foreign exchange controls.
On Friday, officials froze the hard currency allowance to automobile and motorcycle racers who compete overseas while they are being investigated over activities that might be “fictitious or overpriced”. Continue reading »
When it comes to big EM companies and reporting standards, there is a lot to be desired. That’s the conclusion of a new report by Transparency International, which has compiled a scorecard for the 100 biggest emerging markets companies.
But not all EMs are alike. China in particular comes in for a lot of criticism. Continue reading »
A long-running Czech corruption scandal has ground to a conclusion in Switzerland, with a Swiss court convicting five Czechs and one Belgian for their role in the privatisation of a Czech coal company in the late 1990s.
The Swiss had accused them of money laundering and fraud in a scheme to gain control of Mostecka Uhelna Spolecnost (MUS), now part of Czech Coal, that saw the state-controlled company bought by its managers, financed by the company’s own assets. Continue reading »
Asia has the worst defences against corporate fraud of any region and only 4 out of 10 companies have any kind of anti-bribery and corruption policy in place compared with more than 8 out of 10 globally, according to a report by Ernst & Young published on Thursday. Continue reading »
By Andrei Bougrov and Brook Horowitz of the B20 Task Force on Transparency and Anti-Corruption
When the Russian government took over the G20 presidency at the beginning of 2013, the B20 – a group of business leaders from the major companies of G20 countries – was invited to set up a Task Force to engage in a dialogue with the G20 on corruption. After six months of intensive work, the companies in the B20 Task Force came up with a number of recommendations which have been presented to the G20 leaders in advance of the St Petersburg summit. Continue reading »
By William Wilson
In recent years, both Chinese and Russian stocks have sold at astonishingly low discounts relative to other emerging markets. While the price-earnings multiple (PE) for the MSCI Emerging Stock Index is hovering around twelve, Chinese and Russian stock multiples have collapsed toward mid-single digits. For the other Brics, India and Brazil, investors have been willing to fork out twice as much money for each dollar of earnings. Continue reading »
Everything in China is political, even when it might not be.
A series of seemingly unrelated corruption scandals in China all share a common thread that has got the political class in Beijing very excited and boosted speculation that an elite power struggle is under way within the ruling Communist party.
The connections seem tenuous at first but spend enough time in the Byzantine world of Chinese politics and the logic starts to appear compelling. Continue reading »
By Scott Lane of the Red Flag Group
Media coverage of the GSK bribery probe has many Western companies quaking in their boots about their operations in China.
However when it comes to corruption in China, perception isn’t necessarily reality. With the right procedures in place, overseas companies can succeed in the country without recourse to graft. Continue reading »