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Corporate Governance Leadership Pays Off for Latin American Companies, Shows IFC Report


In Washington, D.C.:
Loty R. Salazar, IFC
Phone: (202) 4582559
E-mail:
lsalazar@worldbank.org


New York City, September 8, 2009—A new publication supported by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, highlights the challenges, priorities, and tangible benefits of adopting leading corporate governance practices in Latin America.

The Practical Guide to Corporate Governance: Experiences from the Latin American Companies Circle, was developed by the Latin American Companies Circle with the support of IFC, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum. It compares the performance of Companies Circle’s members to other listed companies in areas such as return on equity and stock multiples, showing that firms with superior corporate governance practices fared better than others.  


The guide also analyzes the operational and stock market performance of Companies Circle’s members against other regional listed companies and found that the portfolios of member companies were less affected by the global financial crisis. For example, their share prices fell only 41.3 percent in 2008, compared to a drop of 49.3 percent for other Latin American companies.


“We always believed that sound corporate governance practices pay off, and today we are encouraged to see this belief supported by the findings of the practical guide,” said Andre Covre, Chairman of the Companies Circle and CFO of Ultrapar, Brazil. “With these tangible results, we are confident that efforts to improve corporate governance practices at our companies and those within Latin America as a whole will foster economic development and sustainability throughout the region.”


The publication provides unique, peer-to-peer guidance with examples and testimonials from Companies Circle’s members sharing their experiences in implementing good corporate governance practices. It provides a roadmap to help companies improve their corporate governance practices in board operations, shareholder rights, internal controls, transparency and disclosure, and family governance.


“I intend to convince everyone that good corporate governance is the way forward as reflected in the guide, which should be used as a template for doing corporate governance around the world,” said Ira Millstein, Senior Associate Dean, Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance.


For more about the report, visit
www.ifc.org/corporategovernance.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping play a prominent role in addressing the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About the Latin American Companies Circle

The Companies Circle is a group of 12 Latin American firms with demonstrated leadership in enacting and advocating governance improvements in the region. The companies are Argos, CCR, CPFL Energia, Embraer, Ferreyros, Homex, ISA, Marcopolo, Natura, NET, Suzano, and Ultrapar. The circle was established by the Latin American Roundtable on Corporate Governance, a joint initiative of OECD and the World Bank Group, and supported by the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum. For more information, visit
www.oecd.org/daf/companiescircle.