Posted on May 01, 2015

Qatar Stock Exchange today became the region’s first stock exchange to launch a program that rewards excellence in Investor Relations. The program surveys the expert opinion of the domestic and international investment community to identify companies and individuals who display best practice. The program also features a detailed ranking of corporate investor relations websites. Qatar Stock Exchange will host a special event in December 2015 to announce the results.

"The companies listed on our exchange are the corporate ambassadors that represent Qatar’s economic, business and financial progress around the world. Their performance is in the public spotlight every day, shaping our country’s image as a financial centre", stated Rashid Al-Mansoori, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Stock Exchange. "It is the responsibility of every publicly listed company to keep its stakeholders informed with any information that may influence an investment decision. It is therefore critical that Qatar’s listed companies embrace open and transparent communication and take advantage of modern technologies to fulfil fast-growing information needs".

Qatar Stock Exchange has mandated Iridium, an independent Investor Relations advisory firm, to design a fair, transparent and credible framework for the IR Excellence Program, which will crown Qatar’s best company overall for excellence in Investor Relations, the best small-, mid- and large cap companies, the best Chief Financial Officer and best Investor Relations Officer as well as the top three company investor relations websites in the country.

"Our mandate as an exchange is to support Qatar’s national economy by providing an exchange platform where investors can trade fairly and efficiently," said Al-Mansoori. "This responsibility is already being echoed by many listed companies who adopt global standards in transparency and investor relations. We will recognize the efforts of the best companies. We will also use this initiative to encourage other companies to enhance their disclosure practices and level of activity going forward."

The Excellence Program has been benchmarked globally against best practices to ensure a transparent methodology. The methodology and all ranking criteria are made public several months before the survey and ranking starts. This enables companies to review categories and selection criteria, and gives them advance notice to adjust their Investor Relations efforts, especially with regards to their websites. The Program is not available for sponsorship by any listed companies.

"Strong Investor Relations are the hallmark of successful capital markets," commented Oliver Schutzmann, Chief Executive Officer of Iridium. "The Qatar Stock Exchange has placed maximum emphasis on creating a credible Investor Relations Excellence Program to fortify investor confidence in Qatar’s best companies, inspire boardroom conversation on investor relations and set new benchmarks in the region. We are confident that this important initiative will lead to one of the most coveted recognitions for companies and executives in Qatar."

Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, Director, Listing Department added "Whilst the IR Excellence Program itself is a new initiative for Qatar Stock Exchange, a focus on improving investor relations for our listed companies is not. We have been encouraging our listed companies over a number of years to adopt best practice including the establishment of specific expertise in dedicated Departments and we see the Investor Relations Excellence Program as another part of that ongoing development."