Qatar to implement mandatory IR framework from October 2019
November 20 2018 08:55 PM
Al-Mansoori, along with other QSE officials, at the 9th annual IR meet. The QSE, the Qatar Financial
Al-Mansoori, along with other QSE officials, at the 9th annual IR meet. The QSE, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority and the listed companies have been working together over many years to ensure that disclosure and transparency are developed through an increasing focus on IR.

Qatar will introduce a mandatory “rules-based” framework for investor relations (IR) from October next year, making it imperative for the listed companies to focus more on their IR functions.

"Effective from October 1, 2019, Qatar will be introducing a mandatory rules-based framework for IR; the rules reflect best-practice and should in any case be standard for listed companies in today’s regulatory capital markets’ environment," QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori told the ninth annual IR conference Tuesday.

For some (listed constituents), this (the new framework) will be just "business as usual’ but for others, they will "undoubtedly" need to pay more attention to the IR function and its resourcing, he said.

The QSE, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority and the listed companies have been working together over many years to ensure that disclosure and transparency are developed through an increasing focus on IR, especially after the inclusion of Qatar in the MSCI, Standard & Poor's and FTSE emerging markets indices, which has served to increase attention on Qatar’s stock market and all its listed companies.

Stressing the importance of IR in light of the growing competition to attract capital and investments, al-Mansoori said the QSE believes that IR is an essential business support function that helps listed companies attract more investors, enhances credibility and ultimately facilitates expansion and growth opportunities for its companies.

He said corporate access in today’s regulatory environment is a must as IR in big corporation see that corporate access means opportunities for IR professionals.

"With the recent changes in MiFID II, traditional corporate access is expected to change significantly. The role of the sell side is expected to shrink and the role for the buy side is expected to rise and the numbers of independent service providers will increase," he said.

MiFID II is a legislative framework instituted by the European Union to regulate financial markets in the bloc and improve protections for investors with the aim of restoring confidence in the industry after the financial crisis exposed weaknesses in the system.

Under the new dispensation, IR personnel would need to ponder over the likely changes in research coverage and how information trickles down among key stakeholders.

"Roadshows can be crucial to your company’s bottom line for various reasons and are an important platform for the managements in their active communication with investors...“Well-crafted web sites will reinforce your brand, show corporate transparency and educate as well as inspire your stakeholders. Good sites will deepen your relationships with investors," al-Mansoori said.

Stressing that it is important to ensure that the IR site has the same look and feel as the corporate site; he said "the same branding and messaging will give it a cohesive feel and keep investors coming back to your site.”

Recent trends show that few IR teams are actively targeting Environment, Social and Governance (ESG)-focused funds, he said, quoting a research report done by IR Magazine.

Abdul Aziz al-Emadi, Director of Listing, QSE, said “at QSE, we strive to deliver the necessary tools and the know-how in developing your IR strategies within your respective companies and better yet communicating an effective strategy to the international investment community.”

Last updated: November 21 2018 09:11 AM


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