Moscow, July 19, 2005 – CenterTelecom (RTS: ESMO, ESMOP; MICEX: CTLK, CTLKP), reports that Standard & Poor’s rating agency affirmed its Corporate Governance Rating on the company at CGS-4+ in accordance with the International Scale. At the same time, the Russian National Scale CGS on the company was increased from “CGS-4.8” to “CGS-4.9”.
Overall CGS of OJSC «CenterTelecom» is the result of assessment based on four components of analysis on International/Russian Scale with gradation from CGS 1 «Very weak» to CGS 10 «Very strong»:
- Ownership structure and external influences — 4 / 4.2
- Shareholder rights and shareholder relations — 7/ 7.0
- Transparency, disclosure and audit — 5+ / 5.7
- Board structure and effectiveness — 4 / 4.3
As a result of the analysis, CenterTelecom’s score on the «ownership structure and external influences» component was raised from 4.0 to 4.2 comparing with early 2005. This reflects positive changes in the system of the state regulation of the company, especially the liberalization of long-distance services market and the waiver of discount prices for the poorer part of the population. The positive results of cooperation between management, minority shareholders and the controlling shareholder of OJSC «CenterTelecom» - OJSC «Svyazinvest» were also taken into account.
According to Standard & Poor’s Governance Services, affirmation of CGS on the International Scale and increase of rating on the Russian National Scale reflects the improvements in the company’s standards of the corporate governance.
Among the positive changes Standard&Poor’s analysts note that the procedures of preparation for the Board of Directors’ meetings correspond to the high international standards, the company shows openness and readiness to conduct dialogue with investors in accordance with the charter documents and internal regulations.
At the same time, Standard&Poor’s considers the dominance of the state-controlled holding OJSC «Svyazinvest» in the strategic decisions of OJSC «CenterTelecom» as the weakness of the company’s corporate governance system.
S&P also notices the development of the dialogue between minority shareholders and OJSC «Svyazinvest» for the last year and increasing role of the Board of Directors in this process. Full-fledged cooperation and positive changes in the state regulation of the industry became the reasons for upgrading of the OJSC «CenterTelecom» CGS on the Russian National Scale.
«OJSC «CenterTelecom» continues to carry out the policy of transparency and is anxious to provide at the most efficient and equal access to the information for all interested audiences. Standards of the corporate conduct adopted by the Company are introduced into its day-to-day activities», - says Ruben Amaryan, General Director of OJSC "CenterTelecom".
The more detailed information is available at the Standard & Poor's web-site or at the corporate web-site of the Company in section «For Investors», subsection «Ratings».
For details contact:
Director of Securities and Corporate Management Department
+7 (095) 793-2319
Head of Investors Relations Division
+7 (095) 793-2340
Director of Information Policy Department
+7 (095) 793-24-86