IR professionals seek robust standards
Dubai, December 24, 2008
The rapidly maturing investor relations (IR) standards of many Middle Eastern companies are keeping pace with the region’s sustained economic growth and diversification, according to participants in the inaugural Middle East Investor Relations Forum.
Consensus among the more than 100 participants – drawn from 10 countries in the wider region, covering an equal number of sectors of activity – in this initiative of the Middle East Investor Relations Society (ME-IR Society), a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and developing the investor relations profession, demonstrates the compelling opportunity for even more robust IR standards in the region, including greater disclosure and stronger capital market communications standards.
“Established as a platform for cross-border learning, the ME-IR Society is pleased with the response and industry dialogue at our inaugural forum,” said chairman, ME-IR Society, Arif Amiri adding that the organisation would reveal its 2009 agenda of events in January.
“As IR professionals, we can play a critical role in ensuring the very highest standards of disclosure and corporate governance at the firms we represent,” he said. “The work we carry out will also reaffirm to the world that the Middle East is now characterised by greater openness and increased accountability.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, head of Investor Relations, Qatar Telecom, Nicholas Swierzy and vice-president, Orascom Construction Industries, Hassan Badrawi were elected directors of the ME-IR Society. Gretchen Haynes was named the society’s general manager.
The Society’s dedicated website, www.me-irs.com, was also launched at the forum. Providing IR professionals with a new networking platform, including career development opportunities and useful background on the investor relations function, the ME-IR Society website promises to be an indispensable tool for regional practitioners.
Speakers at the forum stressed that at a time when competition for capital is intense, a shift in regional IR practices is required at two levels: first, to ensure that minimum disclosure requirements are fully met; and second, to transform company shares into active mechanisms for attracting capital. – TradeArabia News Service