NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores jumped into first place and Kohl’s Corp. maintained its number-three slot, but Zara parent Inditex roared into the top 10 in Brendan Wood International’s second-quarter survey of shareholder confidence.

Quarterly, BWI polls a Shareholder Confidence Panel consisting of 3,000 institutional investors and their advisors in 26 countries, and asks them to rate publicly held firms on 24 confidence criteria ranging from management vision and the quality of corporate information to more conventional financial yardsticks, like price-to-earnings ratio and potential for earnings growth.

The survey covers 550 of the world’s largest companies, which collectively account for about three-quarters of global stock trading. The lowest market capitalization of the firms covered is about $8 billion. Around 60 percent of the companies are based in the U.S. Closely held firms that aren’t actively traded on the public markets aren’t included.

Wal-Mart, the world’s greatest generator of revenues, moved into first place in the second quarter from eighth place at the end of the first by garnering 961 of a possible 1,100 points versus 903 in the previous poll. Wal-Mart was the top-ranked retail company in both periods and also nabbed top honors in the composite corporate governance index rating listing, on which Kohl’s ranked fourth, L’Oréal seventh and eBay ninth.

While Kohl’s remained in third place on the overall survey, it did boost its point total from the tally three months ago, finishing with 937 votes versus 921 last time. Kohl’s fell 13 points short of second-place finisher Intuit Inc. and eight points ahead of number-four Apache Corp. Bed, Bath & Beyond jumped to fifth place with 923 votes from 35th place in the last poll.

Spain’s Inditex jumped 17 places from the last survey to eighth place with 917 votes, versus 877 last time, but that didn’t lead the overseas pack. Russian oil and gas giant Yukos garnered 921 votes to grab seventh place and the highest non-U.S. ranking. Rounding out the top 10 were Wellpoint Health Networks (sixth place), Starbucks (ninth) and Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals (10th).

Inditex also earned third place on a list of companies ranked as short-term investment targets.BWI began compiling investor confidence data in 2001, but didn’t make its findings public until it released its first-quarter study in April.

Brendan Wood, chairman of Bermuda-based BWI, said that while corporate governance ratings have been increasingly in vogue, most are derived from publicly available data “without any value attributed to the opinions of the most important constituent — institutional shareholders.”

The BWI report aims to link investors to boards and go “to the very heart of what drives corporate governance best practices and how major shareholders perceive their effectiveness.”

The findings have taken on importance as the equity markets have been hit by accounting, auditing and other financial scandals of late. BWI noted that the pool of participants on the panel has increased by about 35 percent since the first-quarter study “as global investors intensify their scrutiny of corporate performance, shareholder confidence and governance issues.”

The panel grows as participants enlist others who occupy “the locus of control and influence” within a firm, Stewart Borden, a partner at BWI, noted in a telephone interview.

Asked for his reading on trends in recent surveys, he said, “Companies that gained shareholder confidence during the quarter tended to have leading brands in their particular sector.”

Nike Inc., Gucci Group and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton are among the apparel firms included in the consumer durables and apparel sector, one of 23 categories in the study.

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