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Transparency


 
In financial markets, information is the cornerstone underpinning the entire system. The regulation of financial markets and the market players must ensure the correct and necessary disclosure of information so that all those participating in the markets may form sound and reasonable judgements for their investment or divestment decisions, and transparency is therefore a fundamental principle whereby:
 
 
“All the information that is relevant to investors is disclosed to the market.
The information that is disclosed is correct and truthful.
The information is disclosed in a symmetrical and quitable fashion.
The information is disclosed on a timely basis.”
 
When these conditions are met, market players can form appropriate judgements of the listed companies and take the appropriate decisions, assuming the risks that are inherent to the market. It is considered that the system of transparency has to be oriented particularly towards quantitative information (economic and accounting information) and information with a more immediate impact (significant events), but that it needs further development with regard to qualitative information, specifically in the area of corporate governance.
 
The recommendation in this area is that the disclosure duty with regard to corporate governance structures and practices should be extended and, in general, that measures should be adopted to ensure greater information quality. The establishment of transparency obligations is particularly appropriate since: it provides information about a dimension of companies which is increasingly important for evaluating them and adopting investment decisions as a result. Also it enables market forces to impose their discipline, thereby creating incentives to ensure that self-regulation is used not to preserve vested interests but to increase organisational efficiency. And in short, it constitutes a measure that is relatively non-aggressive and non- interventionist while providing a superior alternative to other measures that limit the freedom of organization.
 
Accordingly, the Commission sees the obligation of transparency as a complementary component of self-regulation which provides the conditions under which many other matters may be left to the sphere of private autonomy, which provides greater flexibility and adaptability.
 
Because of the development of markets and societies, investors now need more information of greater quality in order to form a "true and fair view" of a listed company. It is not sufficient merely to have access to the company's accounting information; it is also necessary to have access to information that is increasingly of relevance in today's markets, including most notably information about corporate governance.
 
Full disclosure is useless if it is not possible to ensure that the information is also correct. The procedures to guarantee its correctness must extend to any aspect of the information to be disclosed by listed companies, particularly that relating to corporate governance. It has also acquired considerable relevance for investors and accounting information.
 
Finally, the information must be disclosed to the market in an equitable and symmetric manner: all market participants must have access to substantially the same information in the same timescale, so companies must send shareholders and investors in general the content of presentations provided to investment banks, analysts, rating agencies, significant shareholders and to all depositories of price-sensitive information once that information becomes known to the company.

Corporate Governance Categories


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