Qatar's mandatory IR regime from October to boost investment appeal
September 23 2019 09:40 PM
Al-Mansoori outlines the QSE's efforts to enhance its attractiveness.
Al-Mansoori outlines the QSE's efforts to enhance its attractiveness.

Qatar, which will have a mandatory rule-based investor relations (IR) regime from October, is keen to promote the adoption of international best practice in IR among its listed companies as part of efforts to enhance its attractiveness to global investors, a top official of the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) said on Monday.

"As QSE is Qatar's national stock exchange, we seek to support the sustainability of our listed companies in the years and decades ahead, especially in light of the current geopolitical instability in the region," QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori told the 10th annual IR conference.

Highlighting that the bourse is actively working on promoting sound IR practices among its listed firms in order to maintain investor confidence and enhance their investment attractiveness; he said since transparency and effective IR communications are the hallmark of a successful capital market, the development of IR practices would definitely enhance the sustainability of listed companies.

“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," he said.

The QSE has held over the last few years many conferences and training programmes, the latest of which was held last week and aimed to enable participants to earn an internationally recognised IR certification.

Abdul Aziz al-Emadi, listings director of the QSE, said that the IR annual conference, the excellence programme, and frequent training programmes reflect the stock exchange's desire to achieve best international practice among its listed companies for a transparent investment environment.

"The issuance of the IR Rules, which will be effective as of October 1, 2019, is a testament to the exchange’s commitment towards achieving quality investor relations to improve market accessibility and support the development of successful capital markets,” he said.

As the new IR regime takes effect, it will be mandatory for all listed companies to have IR officer and a dedicated section on IR on their website.

As part of the QSE’s commitment to create effective communication channels and improve the ongoing communication between the listed companies and the investors’ community, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) has approved a set of minimum requirements for the IR Rules that will become part of QSE's Rulebook.

The QSE, QFMA 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.

"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," al-Mansoori had said earlier.

MiF iID IIs 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.

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