The most anticipated event in the investor relations field in Dubai — the Middle East Investor Relations Association annual conference — took place this week. Zebra Corporate Communications participated in the conference. We decided to summarize some of the theses from the MEIRA conference.
- The Middle Eastern Companies improve the approach to reporting year by year. E.g. less than 10% of reports for 2019 included investment cases, and this number has significantly improved for 2020 — up to 35%. Or in general, integration of case studies evolved (from 28% to 50%)
- More and more companies understand digitalization of IR and the digital-first mindset are more than a trend. It is a future you cannot avoid. “Digital-first” does not mean the digital version should be executed first, but the attention paid to it should be primary. As more and more people access corporate materials from different gadgets. The number of companies creating the online versions of the annual report proves it (35% of online reports for 2019 VS 65% of online reports for 2020).
- General ESG sensitivity from investors is increasing. You are being evaluated, don’t think otherwise.
Even if a particular company in a particular country is not obliged to disclose ESG, it needs this data to compete with its peers. The companies with better ESG data can outperform the benchmark. ESG data is also improving, and more companies include it (from 15% in reports for 2019 up to 47% in reports for 2020).
- The most significant factor is environmental. Greenhouse gases, carbon footprint, biodiversity, waste management, water and resource management, green buildings, packaging — investors need this information for their decisions.
- Everyone discusses Saudi Arabia. This country moves forward incredibly fast, establishing a better climate for investments. The corporate governance and disclosures systems have been improved. The CMA set the target for 20 IPOs in 2021.