IRPAS Urges Public Listed Companies to Improve Standard of IR Websites

• 69% of companies do not have any information on sustainability
• 9% of companies do not even have an IR website

Singapore, 16 October 2017 – The investor relations (IR) websites of SGX-listed companies have ample room for improvement with a total average score of only 42 points out of 100, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Investor Relations Professionals Association (Singapore) (IRPAS) and EQS Group. As a comparison, the average scores for similar surveys conducted in Germany (560 companies) and Qatar (43 companies) were 53 points and 25 points respectively.

The first-ever survey of all SGX-listed company IR websites, the IR Website Survey 2017, was aimed at determining the quality and efficacy of IR websites of public listed companies in Singapore. The survey was based on a 100-point system, out of which 50 points were allocated to assessing the content of an IR website. The remaining 50 points were allocated according to technology (20 points), usability (15 points), design (10 points) and up-to-date-content (5 points).

Among the 711 company websites surveyed in April 2017, the highest score achieved was 70 points, while the lowest was 13 points. When categorised according to the size of the company, large-cap companies (above $1 billion in market capitalisation) had a total average score of 49 points, while mid-cap companies ($300 million to $1 billion) and small-cap companies (below $300 million) had total average score of 47 points and 38 points respectively.

Mr Harold Woo, President of IRPAS, said, “Clearly, the results of this survey show that on average, the quality, depth and attributes of investor relations websites administered by public listed companies in Singapore are below par. In addition, the survey also discovered that a total of 9% of the 711 public listed companies do not even have an IR website.”

“The overall results of this survey are a cause of concern as the trend of engaging investors and getting investor buy-in for a listed entity is moving towards digital medium, with the IR website as the first point of contact.”

“As an organisation that promotes best practices, professionalism and integrity in Singapore’s IR community, IRPAS is advocating that public listed companies pay closer attention to and invest more in ensuring the company’s IR website is able and capable to play a meaningful role in facilitating the company’s IR objectives in this digital age,” he added.

Mr Woo also explained that the IR Website Survey 2017 was set based on reasonable benchmarks. “The survey was meant to gauge whether the IR websites that have been evaluated provide the basic content and interactive elements that can facilitate interactions and communications between a company and its investors,” he explained.

When it came to an IR website’s content, the survey criteria included the content in a website’s landing page, the provision of pertinent information related to the company, its share price, financial announcements and events. Information relating to sustainability and corporate governance was also taken into consideration.

“Another pertinent finding from this survey is that a total of 69% of the companies evaluated do not have any information in relation to the company’s sustainability commitment. From an investor relations perspective, sustainability has become a critical success factor to ensure long-term value creation, and as such, more and more investors are now paying close attention to enhanced transparency on listed companies’ Environmental, Social and Governance practices,” Mr Woo concluded.

Mervyn Kwan, Regional Director-Singapore of EQS Group, shared, “Given how time-sensitive company and financial information are, we found that during the survey, many company websites contained outdated content, or worse yet, lacked content altogether. It is also quite alarming that some companies were found without a website as having an online presence is essential for stakeholder engagement.”

He added, “We have been collaborating with IR societies in other markets to conduct similar IR surveys as we strongly believe IR websites are imperative to listed companies. Furthermore, adopting best practices is a must as we observe the global competition for capital. We are glad to run this survey for the first time in Singapore to create awareness and serve as a guide for SGX-listed companies to build a better digital IR presence.”

SGX-listed companies are able to view their respective scores in detail via www.ir-ranking.eqs.com with a passcode which has been made available.

About IRPAS
IRPAS was established in 2006, with the support of SGX, to champion IR best practice, enhancing professional competencies and elevating the overall standard of the IR profession in Singapore. IRPAS has approximately 200 members comprising representatives from companies across sectors listed on the Mainboard and Catalist of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), as well as private organisations, financial communications advisors and service providers from around the region. IRPAS seeks to represent the views of its members and provide the platform to facilitate dialogue between IROs (investor relations officers), regulators and the wider investment community.

About EQS Group
EQS Group is a leading global technology provider for Digital Investor Relations, Corporate Communications and Compliance. More than 8,000 companies worldwide trust EQS Group’s products and services to securely, efficiently, and simultaneously fulfil complex local and international disclosure requirements, and to reach the global investment community. EQS Group was founded in Munich, Germany in 2000 and has developed from a startup to an international group with offices in the world’s key financial markets, including Singapore. The Group employs over 350 professionals globally.

Contact: Mervyn Kwan
Regional Director – Singapore

EQS Digital IR Pte. Ltd. (EQS Group)
105 Cecil Street, Level 11, The Octagon,
Singapore 069534

C/S Hotline: (65) 6225-2615
Phone: (65) 6225-4393
Mobile: (65) 9225-1237
Email: mervyn.kwan@eqs.com