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Competition of issuers for investors’ attention has become ever-more sophisticated over the years and makes increasing demands on IR services for satisfying growing information requests by market participants.
Like investment bank analysts who keep searching for fresh investment ideas with a view to attracting attention of investor clients of their financial units, the issuers keep searching for innovative methods of convincing presentation of their activities and their industry’s trends to investors and analysts. One can say about “intellectual arms race” unfolding before our eyes between issuers not only within specific industries but in absentia between companies with similar capitalization and other similar fundamental characteristics.
The regulators’ requirements in the field of information disclosure do not systematically catch up with changes in the markets and investor demands. This is why issuers with advanced IR do not limit themselves to the publication of materials subject to regulatory (mandatory) disclosure (often tailored at specific investor categories – i.e. the company’s bondholders).
It is hard to overestimate the importance of voluntary disclosure for communication with investors. They are especially important for the issuers who are geographically remote from world financial centers with limited possibilities for management to regularly meet with the investment community. It is also true with regard to many Russian companies.
With a view to understanding current trends and specific methods of voluntary disclosure, IR agency “Interfax Business Service” annually reviews the activity of the issuers in this field through the example of Russian and British companies. The study conducted this year will allow the managers and specialists of IR departments to get an idea about existing voluntary disclosure formats and evaluate the level of voluntary disclosure of a specific issuer against the best national and foreign business practices.