Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Escape Red Tape

Washington, D.C. - A week ago, the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, released "Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs." The annual survey, now in its third year, sizes up 155 countries to find the best and worst in the world when it comes to regulation on starting a business, hiring and firing workers, getting credit, registering property and other activities essential to free enterprise.

Last November, we argued that data from the World Bank's report, then titled "Doing Business in 2005," was a useful starting point in an international stock search. We singled out the five countries, excluding the U.S., that scored above average in all the "Doing Business" criteria. Then we mined our databases for ten reasonably valued, U.S.-listed stocks issued by companies hailing from those countries.

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