Posted on June 03, 2015

The Middle East Investor Relations Society (“MEIRS”) announces the successful completion of the internationally recognized Certified Investor Relations Officer (“CIRO”) training program and exam, held in Doha, on May 25th – 26th. The independent, not-for-profit society aims to enhance the reputation of the Middle East’s capital markets through upholding international best practice across the investor relations(“IR”)profession.

A total of 12 professionals completed the CIRO, the only certified investor relations course throughout the Middle East, conducted in partnership with the UK Investor Relations Society. In line with the rapid development of regional capital markets, the investor relations practice in the region is evolving and expanding fast across the GCC nations. Oliver Schutzmann, Chairman of the Middle East Investor Relations Society, said, “Listed companies complying with international best practice IR are better positioned to attract the attention of global fund managers and institutional investors.”

“In Qatar, the Exchange has been very proactive in educating its listed companies to have a dedicated IR department and design a proper structure to run a successful IR practice within their respective companies,” said Abdulaziz N. Al Emadi, Listing Director of Qatar Stock Exchange, highlighting the importance of transparent communication. “The Qatar Stock Exchange believes that with an effective investor relations function and strategy, many listed companies can create economic value with fair valuation and lower cost of capital,” Emadi added.

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“After the inclusion of Qatar in the MSCI Index and the upgrade to emerging market status, the main challenge for investor relations officers (“IRO”) is to enhance their expertise to international standards,” said Dr. Joe Maalouf, Chairman of the Qatar Chapter of the Middle East Investor Relations Society, and Head of Investor Relations at Al Khalij Commercial Bank. “We are living the momentum in Qatar, which is becoming a key destination for investors across the globe. Therefore, it is crucial that the IRO have the right skills and knowledge to meet the expectation of these investors. I strongly recommend that every listed company seeks CIRO training and accreditation for their IROs.”

A clear IR strategy will positively help the investor relations officer deliver fair valuation for the company’s stock and reduce future funding costs.While this mirrors the objectives of the CIRO program, membership with MEIRS further develops participants’ education and provides information, training, networking opportunities, and career support.

The Qatar Stock Exchange has been proactive in its attitude to improve the IR departments of its listed companies, being the first exchange in the region to launch a program rewarding excellence in investor relations. The program collects the best global practices to create a benchmark, ranking corporate investor relations websites and awarding the best small, mid, and large companies, CFO, and IRO. In addition to the Qatar session, the CIRO training and examination has also been conducted in Kuwait and the UAE. A new series will be offered in Q3 2015 for professionals looking to obtain their accreditation.