NatSteel tops transparency index in latest round

(02/04/2002)

NatSteel tops transparency index in latest round

By Serena Ng And Juliana Tay


BLUE-CHIP steel miller NatSteel Ltd has emerged tops in the latest batch of full-year corporate results scored in BT's Corporate Transparency Index.

NatSteel scored 67 points out of 100, a six-point improvement over its score for FY00. Helping the company to clinch the top spot were its narrative content, cashflow statement, details of future plans, as well as the holding of a conference with the press and analysts to present its results.

Coming a close second was listed sofa designer and maker HTL International, which managed a score of 64, a stark improvement on its score of 37 points for FY00.

HTL, which was previously regarded as a company with little news flow and scant analyst coverage, managed to improve its score significantly by holding a joint press-and-analyst conference for its results, supplying a cashflow statement, and detailed segmental information about its numbers.

Shipping firm Cosco Investment Singapore came third with a score of 63, almost double what it achieved a year earlier. Cosco managed to gain significant points this time by releasing its results earlier - within 30-59 days of its financial year end - as well as holding a joint press conference with its chief executive officer present.

The latest ranking comprises mainly second liners and small cap stocks, but also included several large cap companies like Hong Leong Singapore Finance, Parkway Holdings, Allgreen Properties, and Shangri-La Asia. Parkway was ranked fifth with a score of 61. Most companies only managed to score between 30 and 40, with few improvements over the previous year. Most companies also posted their results more than 60 days after their financial year had ended.

Two companies in particular, telecommunications solutions firm iSoftel and semiconductor firm Manufacturing Integration Technology, saw their scores plunge sharply from their FY00 numbers. iSoftel's score tumbled from 63 to 35, and MIT's from 61 to 35. What dragged them down was their failure to hold results conferences this time round.

What stands out in the latest rankings is that most of the smaller cap companies are still not providing any cashflow statements with their full-year results.

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