The best and worst of IR in Asia
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has risen to the summit of the Asia Top 50, IR Magazine’s regional ranking of IR teams, which is based on the votes of investors and analysts.
PetroChina comes second, followed by DBS Group in third, Sinopec in fourth and SingTel in fifth. Meanwhile, last year’s number one, ChinaTelecom, slips to 15th place.
The full ranking appears in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Asia 2014/2015, which is released today. The report explores in detail what the buy side and sell side think about investor relations in the region. It also includes case studies of highly placed IR teams.
Shake up for top 10
One of the most notable risers in the Asia Top 50 is Kasikornbank. The Thai financial services firm has climbed from 33rd place last year to seventh in the 2014 ranking. This makes Kasikornbank the first company from outside the Greater China region (comprising mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) or the Singapore market to break into the top 10.
‘Kasikornbank has made a massive change in approach since the Asian crisis,’ comments a Singapore-based member of the sell side. ‘I rarely met the CEO before but now he regularly visits Hong Kong and Singapore. He is open and frank about the challenges and aware of the risks.’
Poor IR called out
Despite the strong IR performance of companies in the Asia Top 50, investors and analysts who contributed to the report complain that the overall quality of IR in Asia is in need of serious improvement.
‘I deal with Asian companies but also with companies in the US where IR is at a completely different level, with different expectations,’ says another member of Singapore’s sell side. ‘It is difficult to nominate companies that are ‘good at IR’ in Asia if comparing them with other parts of the world.’
A buy-sider based in Hong Kong puts his view even more strongly: ‘If they could just keep expectations realistic and not lie to us.’
The full report, available to professional subscribers to IR Magazine, includes verbatim comments from the buy side and sell side on areas including: IROs, senior management, reporting and disclosure, technology and corporate governance.