Tata Group tops transparency list of BRICS multinationals

The Tata Group has emerged the best performer among emerging multinationals in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, in terms of openness in business practices, according to a latest report.

Bombay HouseTata Communications Ltd topped the anti-corruption programmes category with 92 per cent, followed by three other Tata Group companies in a list of BRICS based multinational companies arranged according to transparency levels.

Indian firms have emerged the best performers among emerging multinationals in the BRICS countries in terms of openness in business practices, according to the latest report of Transparency International.

Indian firms also topped the performance chart with a result of 54 per cent, with several of them among the top 10 in a sample of 100 firms.

In a survey report of emerging market multinationals released today, the anti-corruption watchdog has praised Indian firms' relatively high disclosure standards.

In a sample of 100 fastest-growing multinational companies from 16 emerging economies, three-quarters of which were from BRICS, Indian firms performed the best, according to the survey.

Transparency attributed this to laws in India about how multinationals must report on subsidiaries.

In contrast, Chinese firms with their opaque practices and obtrusive government regulations got the lowest rating among the BRICS economies.

Eight of the 10 worst-performing companies were Chinese. In fact, China's state-owned Chery Automobile Co Ltd along with Mexico's privately-owned consumer goods group Mabe scored zero points.

Chery, however, defended itself saying that it need not disclose everything like a private listed company and that it had neither heard of Transparency International nor had it been contacted by it.

"Results show that companies from China lag behind in every dimension with an overall score of 20 per cent," Transparency said in the report. "Considering their growing influence in markets around the world, this poor performance is of concern."

The survey is based on how transparent the companies are in taking measures to combat corruption and make presentations or reports on their organisations, including disclosure of data like revenue, expenditure and taxes, three quarters of the companies scored less than five out of 10.

"As emerging market companies expand their influence they should seize the opportunity to play a bigger role stopping corruption internationally," said Huguette Labelle, head of the Berlin-based independent pressure group.

About 60 per cent of the companies surveyed failed to disclose information about their political contributions.