Beware of the information obtained from Asian banks, warns Philippe F. Delhaise, president of Thomson BankWatch Asia. Getting the facts requires using unorthodox means, he says.

After 22 years in Asia, Belgian-born Mr. Delhaise cautions that in analyzing Asian businesses what you see is not what you get. Ratings are helpful in discerning the relative safety of banks in an individual country, but because of different accounting and reporting standards, the ratings lack the reliability of those of U.S. companies.

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