The Standard & Poor’s Kazakhstan Corporate Transparency Index, calculated as an average score for the 22 largest public companies was 44 percent. In comparison, the average transparency score was 56 percent in Russia, and 71 percent in the UK.
The most transparent company was KMG EP, with a score of 67 percent. ENRC, Kazakhmys and Kazkommertsbank, all LSE-listed companies, also scored higher than 60 percent.
“The relatively low average score for Kazakhstan is mainly due to disclosure weaknesses in operating performance, shareholder rights, and remuneration of executives and
directors. Additional constraining factors are limited information in companies’ annual reports and limited English–language disclosure,” said Standard & Poor’s governance
analyst Elena Pastoukhova. “On the positive side, we note the fact that all public companies in Kazakhstan disclose their financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and that information on key shareholders and governing bodies is generally available.”
The average transparency score for eight non-public companies from the government-owned Samruk-Kazyna group was 25 percent, mostly due to lower disclosure requirements. Among these companies, the Development Bank of Kazakhstan scored the highest with 53 percent.
While Standard & Poor’s noted that disclosure requirements and the transparency level have improved in recent years, some shortcomings remain. For example, beneficial owners are not required to disclose information on their significant indirect holdings and their affiliates, and requirements regarding disclosure of executive compensation are low. Disclosure regulations extending to non-public entities of the Samruk-Kazyna group, for example, allow these to file their consolidated annual accounts on August 31, which is unduly late by international practices.