Free Market Reforms Are Bearing Fruit

After two tough years, emerging markets are back

For a spectacular corporate leap forward, it would be hard to match the performance of Kimberly-Clark de Mexico. The paper products maker, 46% owned by Dallas-based Kimberly-Clark Corp., jumped from No. 132 in 1995 to No. 48 this year on BUSINESS WEEK's annual scoreboard of the top 200 emerging-market companies, ranked by market value. Despite Mexico's recession, its share price zoomed 78%, to $18, reflecting the company's success in gaining market share as well as expected benefits from its planned merger with Scott Paper Co.'s Mexican unit.

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