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Russia's Sberbank Gets Poor Score for Transparency

The poor score clashes with Sberbank's image in Russia as a paragon of international standards and good business practices.

State-owned lender Sberbank, the biggest bank in Russia, was rated the fifth least transparent of the world's top publicly traded companies in a report published Wednesday by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Its rating of just 1.5 out of 10, with 10 indicating absolute transparency, put Sberbank behind three major Chinese banks: Bank of China, rated least transparent with a score of 1.0, as well as Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China. Japanese car maker Honda was rated second-worst.

The poor score clashes with Sberbank's image in Russia as a paragon of international standards and good business practices.

Transparency International based its scores on ratings of companies' anti-corruption measures, the amount of information they provide on subsidiaries and holdings and their openness regarding overseas operations. All combined, the 124 corporations rated are worth some $14 trillion, according to the watchdog.

Russia's state-owned energy majors Rosneft and Gazprom came out near the middle of the pack, with scores of 4.2 and 3.5, respectively.

The bottom ranks also included some Internet companies generally viewed as among the world's most progressive: U.S. e-commerce company was 11th from the bottom, with a score of 2.0, followed by Google and Apple in 13th and 22nd place, respectively.

The world's highest-ranking company was Italian oil and gas company Eni, followed by British telecommunications corporation Vodafone and Norwegian energy producer Statoil.

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