SCA board decides to compel listed companies to set up Investor Relations Department

Abu Dhabi: The board of directors of the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has held a meeting presided over by its chairman, Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansoori, Minister of Economy. During the meeting, which was held at the SCA branch in Dubai, the board decided to make it compulsory for companies listed on UAE securities markets to have Investor Relations Department in their companies. The board said the new service has now become vital as the local markets continue to enjoy increasing significance among the various categories of investors at both the national and international levels, adding that creating such a department would help improve the level of disclosure in those companies to boost investor relations and meet investors’ ambition, while, on the other hand, it will serve as a launch pad for preparing the UAE market towards upgrade to the “Advanced Market” status.

The SCA has set up a joint task force of experts consisting of two representatives from each of the SCA, the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai financial Market (DFM), to study several proposals it had received in this regard, tapping in the expertise of international professional investor relations practitioners with the aim of conducting in-depth studies on the issue.

The board also reviewed a number of international practices of this subject, which show that companies listed on advanced market have similar task force taking care of investor relations.

The task force also studied the companies which have no investor relations service facility and the results show that implementing such a program and having a competent task force for this purpose would enhance ties between investors and representatives of the companies.

According to the decision, the proposed Investor Relations Department shall have to meet the following requirements: A listed company must have a specific person tasked with handling enquiries from investors and communicating with them without necessarily being employed solely for this job.

A listed company must have a website which contains all the necessary information about the company and its management.

The website must have a section specially for investor relations. The section shall contain all information of interest to investors about the company.

The website must also have an agenda highlighting dates of relevant information about the company, like its general assembly meetings, disclosures, etc.