New Delhi: Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group has emerged as the country's most trustworthy corporate house, while the two Ambani groups are lagging way behind, a new survey said on Tuesday.

In the survey conducted by Equitymaster, more than 61 per cent participants voted Tatas as the most trustworthy and transparent group in terms of their financial reporting, while Infosys came a distant second with about 17 per cent votes.

In comparison, the groups led by Mukesh and Anil Ambani could garner less than 2 per cent votes each in the survey, which ranked them at 6th and 8th positions, respectively.

The survey ranked HDFC Group as third most trustworthy after Tatas and Infosys, while L&T and TVS groups followed at 4th and 5th positions, respectively.

Others in the top-10 included Mukesh Ambani-led RIL Group (6th), Aditya Birla Group (7th), Anil Ambani Group (8th), ICICI Bank (9th) and Bharti Airtel (10th).

HDFC had 9.1 per cent votes, L&T 4.3 per cent, TVS Group had 2.3 per cent, Mukesh Ambani Group 1.6 per cent, Aditya Birla Group 1.3 per cent, Anil Ambani Group 1.2 per cent, ICICI Bank 1.1 per cent and Bharti Airtel 0.9 per cent.

The survey was conducted by Equitymaster Agora Research, an independent equity research firm which also runs one of the country's oldest stock market website EquityMaster.Com. Equitymaster said in a press release that a total of 2,671 persons participated in the survey, whose objective was to find out "which corporate entity does the Indian investor trust the most in these days of scams and scandals."

"Surprisingly, despite the 2G scam, the popularity of the Tatas seemed unaffected. However, the same could not be said for Infosys whose popularity seems to have taken a hit.

"It makes one wonder if one can attribute it to the change in its leadership (K V Kamath replacing Narayana Murthy as the Chairman)," it added.

It said that some survey participants also suggested, including a 'None of the above' option, showing "the utter distrust that is present in the minds of the investors today."

Equitymaster said that the latest poll highlighted an important change in the investor's mindset.

"In the days before the financial meltdown, returns from stocks were probably the only criterion for investing. However, all that has changed due to global financial crisis and the recent spate of scams. Sound financial reporting and trustworthy managements are now just as important," it added.

Since the last survey in 2009, the two Ambani groups have moved up from their 9th and 10th ranks, respectively.

The top-four positions -- Tatas, Infosys, HDFC and L&T -- have remained unchanged since 2009, while Bharti has moved down from its 6th rank and TVS has moved up from 7th position at that time. The Aditya Birla Group and ICICI Bank have also moved down from 5th and 8th ranks, respectively in 2009.

(Agencies)