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Corporate governance

The Board of the Company is committed to high standards of corporate governance, which it considers are critical to business integrity and to maintaining investors’ trust in the Company. The Group expects all its directors and employees to act with honesty, integrity and fairness. The Group will strive to act in accordance with the laws and customs of the countries in which it operates; adopt proper standards of business practice and procedure; operate with integrity; and observe and respect the culture of every country in which it does business.

In December 2008, Governance Metrics International, a global corporate governance ratings agency, ranked the Company amongst the top UK companies, with an overall global corporate governance rating of ten, the highest score assigned and achieved by only 1% of the 4,196 companies rated.

In the Company’s profile report by Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (‘ISS’), dated 1 May 2009, the Company’s governance practices outperformed 98.6% of the companies in the ISS developed universe (excluding US), 98.2% of companies in the telecommunications sector group and 98.1% of the companies in the UK.