All change for Asia's award winners

Mar 17, 2015
<p><em>IR Magazine</em>'s annual events in Greater China and South East Asia got a makeover in 2014</p>

Sparkling venues and a newly improved, more interactive format were offered this year to attendees of IR Magazine’s events in Asia, which took place at the end of last year. On December 4, more than 120 delegates from Greater China were invited to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s client center overlooking Hong Kong harbor, to take part in an afternoon of conference sessions and awards presentations, followed by a lively cocktail party.

With Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company topping both the Greater China and pan-Asia charts, all eyes were once again on Elizabeth Sun, the company’s formidable head of IR of 11 years, whose good work won her company seven awards in 2014, including the grand prix in the large cap-category. Only a few points behind the Taiwanese firm and the runner-up on both lists, PetroChina snatched three prizes. The company’s head of IR and winner of the best IRO award for mainland China, Mao Zefeng, who started his career at Lenovo, thanked his former mentor Gary Ng for his impeccable IR training.

The 2014 Greater China Top rankings held few surprises, with award regulars such as Lenovo, Delta Electronics and Pacific Basin Shipping all ranking highly, and Sinopec and MediaTek both winning awards. Sa Sa International, also consistently well ranked, made a breakthrough this year by winning not only the grand prix in the small and mid-cap category, but also the awards for best IRO in Hong Kong and best IR in the consumer discretionary sector. China Telecom, top of the charts for the two previous years, made ninth place, taking home the sector award for communications, while the accolade for best IR for an IPO went to Hong Kong-listed online games publisher IGG.

The following week in Singapore, on December 9, the local investor relations community and attendees from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines all appeared delighted to network and mingle with their peers at Singapore Exchange’s stylishly renovated venue hall and auditorium.

Number three in the IR Magazine Asia Top 50, DBS was this year’s top winner in the South East Asia region with six awards including the large-cap grand prix, followed by fellow Singaporeans SingTel and StarHub. Other South East Asian countries were well represented: Kasikornbank, PTT Exploration and Production and Minor International from Thailand; Metro Pacific Investments from the Philippines; and Public Bank from Malaysia. All five made the IR Magazine South East Asia Top 25 and took home at least one award. Two newcomers from Indonesia joined the high performers’ list in 2014: Adaro Energy, second runner-up for the grand prix in the small and mid-cap category, won the best IR in Indonesia award, while Bank Mandiri placed second.

Asia Top 50

Introduced in 2011, the IR Magazine Asia Top 50 recognizes the companies that score best overall, across the various IR categories under scrutiny, regardless of whether they win awards or not. The ranking includes companies from all countries in the Asia research, from both the Greater China and South East Asia regions. Below is the 2014 All-Asia top 10.

Rank 2014 Rank 2013 Company Country No of Awards won
1 4 Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Taiwan 7
2 43 PetroChina China 3
3 5 DBS Group Singapore 6
4 31 Sinopec China 2
5 6 SingTel Singapore 2
6 3 StarHub Singapore 2
7 33 Kasikornbank Thailand 2
8 2 CapitaLand Singapore 1
=9 7 Lenovo China -
=9 =72 MediaTek Taiwan 1

Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese and Singaporean firms once again grab the top spots in the 2014 pan-Asia rankings, with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in pole position and PetroChina, which ranked fourth in 2012 but fell to 43rd in 2013, making a spectacular comeback and skyrocketing 41 places to the runner-up position. Thailand’s Kasikornbank also moves up sharply, winning two awards and rising from 33rd in 2013 to seventh place this year. MediaTek from Taiwan, which was absent from the Top 50 in 2013 after securing 23rd place in 2012, joins the top 10 at joint ninth place in 2014, equal with Lenovo. The latter attracted five award nominations, including one for the grand prix in the large-cap category for Greater China, but was the only top IR performer not to win an award in 2014. The only firm from Indonesia in the Top 50 – Adaro Energy – ranks 41st in 2014. It’s also worth noting that nearly half of 2014’s Top 50 IR teams (21) did not feature in 2013’s pan-Asia rankings

Greater China Awards (Click here to jump to the South East Asia Awards)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

Greater China Top 30 rank: 1

Awards
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap)
Best IR by a Taiwanese company
Best investor relations officer - Taiwan
Best sustainability practice
Best financial reporting
Best corporate governance
Best in sector - technology

What the investment community says: ‘With its highly experienced investor relations team led by Elizabeth Sun, TSMC stands out among companies in Asia for its all-encompassing, professional approach to the investment community' - Taiwan, buy side

What the company says: 'I would say part of TSMC's IR success is our ability to build a long-term, trusting relationship with our shareholders' – Elizabeth Sun, head of IR

PetroChina

Greater China Top 30 rank: 2

Awards
Best IR by a mainland Chinese company
Best investor relations officer - mainland China
Best in sector - energy & utilities

What the investment community says: ‘The IR team at PetroChina is very helpful. Top quality and, it's fair to say, the absolute best in the state-owned enterprise space' - Hong Kong, buy side

Sinopec

Greater China top 30 rank: 3

Awards
Best investor meetings
Most progress in IR

What the investment community says: ‘Sinopec is the most transparent company and has improved greatly in this regard. IRO Chen Yang understands and articulates Sinopec's strategies well and is the best at helping investors understand the long-term direction of the company' - China, sell side

What the company says: ‘[Our fuling shale gas site roadshows] were two of the largest-scale reverse roadshows of 2014 in China. They attracted a total of 110 investors and analysts' - Chen Yang, head of IR

MediaTek

Greater China Top 30 rank: =4

Awards
Best IR by a CEO or CFO in Greater China

What the investment community says: ‘Live webcasts are helpful and provide up-to-the-minute results. MediaTek is the only company in my universe to do these' - Singapore, buy side

What the company says: 'We invite certain analysts and investors to join new product launch events and trade shows from time to time; we think this gives them a good chance to meet senior management and learn more about our products and strategies' - David Ku, CFO

SaSa International

Greater China Top 30 rank: 6

Awards
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small or mid-cap)
Best IR by a Hong Kong company
Best investor relations officer - Hong Kong
Best in sector - consumer discretionary

What the investment community says: ‘Sa Sa International has reasonably open disclosure and the reporting is good compared with other companies. This is mainly due to the quality of the operating matrix, which is important in the consumer sector. Sa Sa also reports total sales in a detailed breakdown' - Hong Kong, sell side

SOHO China

Greater China Top 30 rank: =34

Awards
Best use of technology

What the investment community says: ‘SOHO China makes great use of the internet, as well as Weibo, which we use a lot' - Hong Kong, sell side

IGG

Greater China Top 30 rank: =131

Awards
Best IR for an IPO

What the investment community says: ‘Most technology companies can't give guidance on their sales, so they are hard to track but IGG guides investors and analysts about how it will achieve its goals' - Hong Kong, buy side

Other sector award winners

Communications China Telecom
Consumer Staples China Resources Enterprise
Financials Bank of East Asia
Industrials (including materials) China Everbright International
Real Estate China Overseas Land & Investment

South East Asia Awards

DBS Group

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 1

Awards
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap)
Best IR by a Singaporean company
Best financial reporting
Best corporate governance
Best sustainability practice
Best in sector - financials (excluding real estate)

What the investment community says: ‘It can be difficult for banks to provide disclosure but DBS does a good job, especially with minority shareholder feedback' - Singapore, sell side

What the company says: 'The annual report that year was the first step towards integrated reporting. Like many other business network members, we still don't claim compliance with the IIRC framework but we consider our report to be integrated in that it aims to link together strategy, priorities, risks and performance' - Mikkel Larsen, managing director and head of tax & accounting policy

SingTel

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 2

Awards
Best use of technology
Best in sector - technology & communications

What the investment community says: 'For transparency and effort, it's the big-cap boys that do best, and SingTel leads the pack' - Singapore, buy side

What the company says: '[With our digital business], we feel we have unique assets where we can provide a point of differentiation. We developed music apps for our mobile customers by working with the music owners and charging a fee for it. The music is completely legal' - Sin Yang Fong, head of IR

StarHub

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 3

Awards
Best investor relations officer
Best investor meeting

What the investment community says: 'Even though Jeannie Ong has now become StarHub's chief marketing officer and has more to do than her IR duties, she is still considered as good as it gets in IR' - Singapore, buy side

What the company says: ‘We specifically asked to see funds in the US and Europe that were either previous investors that had divested completely or potential new investors that had never heard of us' - Jeannie Ong, chief marketing officer

KasikornBank

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 4

Awards
Best IR by a Thai company
Best IR by a CEO

What the investment community says: ‘The management team at Kasikornbank is very diligent and provides everything you need in the slide pack presentation, giving insight into the business segments' - Singapore, sell side

What the company says: '[The investor relations team is] integrating and applying the company's customer-centric philosophy into its own dealings with the bank's investors' - Marisa Watthaphanich, co-head of the office of corporate secretary and IR

PTT Exploration and Production

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 6

Awards
Best IR by a CFO
Best in sector - energy & utlities

What the investment community says: ‘In meetings, Penchun Jarikasem always demonstrates the strategies for financial management and discloses as much information as she can. Moreover, she is prepared to share with us anything new in accounting or operations' - Thailand, buy side

Metro Pacific Investments

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 9

Awards
Grand prix for best overall investor relations (small or mid-cap)
Best IR by a Philippine company

What the investment community says: ‘Metro Pacific is the best-run company I cover. It is the only one with the capacity to talk about both the positive and negative aspects of any news. Both the IRO and the CFO are extremely knowledgeable and bright' - Philippines, sell side

Olam International

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 10

Awards
Most progress in IR

What the investment community says: ‘Olam has bent over backwards to be more transparent and open about IR issues' - Singapore, buy side

Public Bank

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 14

Awards
Best IR by a Malaysian company

What the investment community says: ‘Senior management at Public Bank readily engages with analysts and clients, keeping us well informed on the business trends. The company also has strong corporate governance with excellent disclosure' - Singapore, sell side

Adaro Energy

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 18

Awards
Best IR by an Indonesian company

What the investment community says: ‘There is good reporting with great detail in Adaro's annual report, and at meetings there is a good mix of operations and finance people' - Singapore, sell side

Pacific Radiance

South East Asia Top 25 rank: 38

Awards
Best IR for an IPO

What the investment community says: ‘The IR team is accessible at all times' - Singapore, sell side

Other sector award winners

Consumer discretionary Minor International
Industrials (including materials)
Singapore Technologies Engineering
Real Estate
CapitaLand
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