Survey highlights Asian preparedness for Y2K

Investors in Asian stocks are likely to concentrate investment away from companies less prepared for Y2K, according to investment banker, Goldman Sachs (GS).

It has identified the top five Asian stock picks as Cathay Pacific, HSBC Holdings, KorAm Bank, Singapore Airlines and TSMC.

It based its recommendation on a survey of preparedness for Y2K among major Asian companies.

The bank's Y2K survey of Asian stock paints a mixed picture of Y2K preparedness in the region.

According to GS, 76 per cent of the 96 companies surveyed are in advanced stages of preparation.

However, only 52 per cent of companies surveyed have completed Y2K systems testing.

And GS points out that survey respondents were large, well-managed organisations and may well be ahead of their smaller counterparts in terms of Y2K readiness.

The survey also revealed that only 66 per cent of respondents have senior management overseeing Y2K projects.

Meanwhile, those surveyed had a gloomy view of supply chain readiness with just 53 per cent expecting mission-critical partners to be prepared.

Disclosure of Y2K readiness is a concern, said GS with none of the 96 companies prepared to answer all questions in the survey, and only 40 per cent judged to have given "very good" disclosure of Y2K preparedness.

The only Australian company surveyed was Qantas, which GS reported as having spent $US87 million on Y2K preparation, to achieve Gartner Group's top Y2K preparedness rating - Level 5 preparedness.

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