Arindon hosts International Investor Relations conference in Bahrain

Sunday, April 12 - 2009

Arindon, the Bahrain based investor relations company hosted a successful conference where 128 senior executives, capital market advisors, equity analysts and delegates from the European Union and New York were in attendance to discuss the importance of Investor Relations in Turbulent times and Investor Relations in the GCC.

The event was a rare occasion where buyside/sellside equity analysts, representatives of listed companies, credit agencies and members of the capital markets and financial community engaged in constructive dialogue surrounding MENA capital markets and the need for improved transparency and IR services.

"The current economic financial environment has been difficult for capital raising, not withstanding, this is further hampered by shallow attention paid to Investor Relations" said Tijjay Majiyagbe, Managing Director at Arindon.....

"Consequently, the need for active IR in the GCC has become more important as companies look at making the paradigm shift of moving from a growth strategy to "capital preservation" and maintaining existing shareholders he added speaking on a four person panel which included Alex Menage, Director at Thomson Reuters; Jonathan Minor, Managing Director at Investcorp and Hasnain Malik, Managing Director at CITI.

IR means different things to different companies however, "If companies in this region want to use their share price for more than just status, they have to get engaged in the machinery of that equity market" said Hasnain Malik, head of MENA investment research at Citi.

It was ultimately the sponsorship by Ithmaar Bank, Inovest, SICO Investment Bank and Zain Group that created a learning environment where practical capital markets knowledge and open discussions on IR strategy were exchanged.

"GCC companies are under more pressure to adhere to international best practise primarily because disclosure has been somewhat lacking in the region where more disclosure is required. However, IR is not simply about disclosure, companies need to match institutional readiness and commitment with the deployment of credible IR professionals if they are to get serious about IR". said Anthea Ameer, Director at Arindon and Head of the McNair Partnership at the DIFC.

"We have indeed come a long way in getting our educational messages across that IR is neither PR nor Placement. It is interesting because 14 months ago, hardly anyone wanted to know about IR services - and why should they! The markets were buoyant, growth was astronomical and capital was cheap to raise!!! How things change so quickly to the point where the authenticity of company financials, results and fact sheets are viewed with misgivings" she added.

Bahrain is taking a lead in creating an internationally attractive investment climate, thanks largely to the efforts of the Economic Development Board and exemplified by the recent Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index accolade earned by Mumtalakat. It is testament to our objectives that transparency is pivotal within the investor community and we encourage clients to take a strategic approach towards implementing IR initiatives that directly benefit shareholders positively and improve share valuation.

"For over the three decades, the Kingdom of Bahrain has been at the forefront of the GCC financial sector and still maintains an important focal point for international financial services activities," added Tijjay Majiyagbe, Managing Director, Arindon.  


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