Investis advises Qatari listed companies on why digital matters

MEIRSFollowing the partnership announced with the Middle East Investor Relations Society earlier this year, we have been asked to attend a number of educational events in the region. The below is a write-up by our Client Director Adam Malik from his speech at the 6th Annual Conference.

“What would happen, if you left here today and made no changes whatsoever?”

This is the question I left hanging, in a deadly silent room, after speaking about why digital matters in the context of IR, at the recent annual conference organised by the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) & Middle East Investor Relations Society (MEIRS). As the IR function is still taking shape and companies are at such varying levels of sophistication, I needed to pitch the ideas and recommendations at a level everyone could understand.

My speech began with reference to how conference-goers cannot resist the urge to continually check in with their smartphones and spinning it to a testament to the modern digital era and of all of us, as users within this digital society. “Investors, too, want information, but what they want and how they want to consume it, this is changing,” I went on to say.

Perhaps this is not the start the hundred-strong delegates were expecting, as heads looked up, people leaned in and despite the challenging task of going before the coffee break, the room was all ears.

My presentation combined back-to-basics advice on why listed companies needed to take their websites seriously, to the role of mobile and influence of social media.

According to our IQ methodology (the Investis website benchmarking solution) , the average Qatari company only scores 25% for its corporate website, lacking across all areas, including mobile, content and usability, as well a poor response to basic investor needs, with only 12% including an explanation of their strategy and 0% demonstrating why they are a strong investment proposition.

The main message was simple: the content investors are looking for and the way they want to consume it, is changing and Qatari companies need to communicate and respond to these needs, through the channels that matter, especially as the global capital markets arena becomes increasingly competitive.

We look forward to staying active in the region by educating companies so they can communicate in ways that resonate with international investors.

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