SEC OKs 98% of U.S. Oaths - Europeans Prepare to Swear

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the final results of the corporate certifications due by August 14, 2002. Of the nearly 700 companies required to certify their results by that date, the SEC found just 16 or 2% weren't able to sign off on their prior quarterly and annual results.

In addition to the companies named earlier this week, the following were added to the list of companies that weren't able to certify results: Consolidated Freightways Corporation, Hercules, Inc., Mirant Corporation, and Qwest Communications International Inc.

Next up are the 14,700 other public companies whose executives are required to certify results under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This total includes both U.S. and foreign issuers whose securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq.

European companies have viewed this legislation as "high-handed," and there was a good deal of initial grumbling. Some companies are still hoping the SEC will make exceptions that exempt foreign companies from certain other provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. But the Wall Street Journal reports that many European companies are getting resigned to the idea of swearing to the accuracy of their companies' results. They view it as a small price to pay for the opportunity to raise capital on the U.S. securities markets. ("Foreign Executives Are Likely to Sign U.S. Regulators' Oath," August 22, 2002.)

-Rosemary Schlank

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