As part of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) efforts to enhance the role of investor relations in listed companies and the continuous collaboration between the Exchange and companies in adopting best global practice, ADX held a workshop for listed companies on enhancing relations between the company and investors and the role of investor relations manager in this regard and enhancing this role in line with international best practice. The workshop was attended by investor relations managers of listed companies.
At the beginning of the workshop, it was highlighted to the audience that the investors in the companies are the basis of the formation of these companies. They have put their money and savings to contribute to the development of the economy and to obtain returns from their investment. Investment in listed companies in the securities markets gives the investor many rights as stipulated in the legislation regulating the capital markets. The Exchange has always been keen to continuously educate the investors about these rights and to identify them fully.
The most important of these rights is to provide effective communication with shareholders, provide them with adequate information in a timely manner and involve them in key decision making with ease. In addition, there are many rights that the company must provide and make available to all investors regardless of the number of shares they own and within the framework of legislation and law.
Companies must commit to providing all the information and delivered to the shareholders. This workshop is aimed at clarifying how to work collectively to strengthen the relationship between companies and investors in this regard and determine the role of the investor relations manager in addition to clarifying the shareholders' rights stipulated by the law.
Main objectives of the workshop were clarifying the relationship between the company and investors, underlining the role of the investor relations manager in this regard, raising the level of consistency and quality in responding to external inquiries received from analysts and investors, as well as enhancing the degree of knowledge of stakeholders and their understanding of the performance of companies data.
It was explained that the workshop objectives would be achieved through the application of the best ways of communication and presentation on the website of the company and improve the level of summary reports provided as well as find a more sophisticated and efficient approach to the company's interaction with the Exchange’s requirements, investors, and analysts.
It was then clarified to the attendees that the general framework in the appointment of the Investor Relations Manager and the functions of this manager is Article (35) of the decision of the Chairman of the Securities and Commodities Authority No. (7 / R.M) for the year 2016 Concerning the Standards of Institutional Discipline and Governance of Public Shareholding Companies. This article obligates the listed companies to appoint an investor relations manager according to specific conditions, such as the ability to write and speak in both Arabic and English languages, and to have a scientific qualification in addition to practical experience related to the fields of business, accounting or public relations of investors and to be aware of the legal and legislative requirements as well as having the ability to use different channels of communication, also to have the skills to communicate with investors in addition to other conditions.
The workshop also discussed with the companies the need to establish a special page for investor relations on the company's website so that it is constantly updated and maintained in line with international standards. The page should include data and means of communication in the investor relations department such as a dedicated phone number and e-mail address, and should provide financial results data whether archived or published, , including the dates of publication of financial results data, minutes of meetings of the General Assemblies, and any other important events. To establish the necessary procedures to provide all data and information to the investor relations employee, including the decisions of the Board of Directors as soon as they are issued, in addition to the periodical and annual financial statements once approved by the Board of Directors, to enable the investor relations employee to carry out his duties specified in the aforementioned Article.
Finally, in the workshop, the attendees were informed of the rights of the investors and shareholders that the investor relations managers and the listed companies should provide to them. These rights have been included in the legislation regulating the capital markets. In general, the shareholder has the right to obtain all the information that enables him to exercise his rights to the fullest extent and without discrimination between him and other shareholders. Among these rights are, the right to review the company’s performance through the financial data by viewing the company’s budget, the loss and profit accounts, board of directors reports, auditor reports of the company of the previous fiscal year. The shareholder is also entitled to apply for access to the company's books and any documents relating to the transactions with the related parties and the right to sue to obtain all the information and facts that help to uncover the truth of these deals and the right to see the minutes of the meeting of the general assembly and many other rights.
H.E. Khalifa Salem Al Mansouri, Acting Chief Executive of ADX, said that the Exchange is keen to support and assist companies in enhancing the role of investor relations managers as well as enhancing relations between the company and investors.
H.E. stressed that the Exchange will soon continue with the companies to work on the implementation of the most important recommendations of this workshop with the need for all companies to appoint an investor relations managers and to provide an electronic page or platform containing all the important information of interest to investors as stipulated in the aforementioned Article 35 and finally review the websites to verify the implementation of what has been agreed after giving the companies a specific time limit for the implementation of these recommendations.