Best practice IR had to be reimagined last year as the Covid-19 pandemic shut down travel and in-person events. Companies were forced to experiment with new, digital ways to stay close to investors.
The winners at the IR Magazine Awards – Greater China 2020 tried a range of new approaches, from online site visits to results webcasts and virtual roadshows. It required some trial and error, but they managed to maintain strong relationships with the buy side and sell side while also learning new skills. ‘We have to find something positive among the difficult times,’ explains one award winner.
The virtual awards took place on December 10, 2020. Companies could win in two categories: the awards-by-research categories were decided by a survey of portfolio managers, buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts who cover companies based in mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. The awards-by-nominations categories see companies submit examples of best practice in areas like the annual report, ESG reporting, corporate transactions and investor events. A panel of IR experts decides the winners.
China Unicom (Hong Kong)
- Best overall investor relations (large cap)
- Best investor relations officer (large cap): Jacky Yung
- Best in sector: communications
- Best in region: Hong Kong
Alongside Covid-19, a key theme of conversations with investors over the last year has been the roll-out of 5G, says Ivan Wong, director of IR at China Unicom (Hong Kong). He says investors want to hear about the company’s investment plans and how they will affect the capital-allocation strategy. They also want to understand how super-fast broadband may impact other industries, from tech to education and healthcare. Wong talks about what makes a great IR team, too. Given the fast-paced nature of communications today, he says IROs need to be proactive in keeping investors and senior management up to date about any developments.
Sinic Holdings (Group) Co
- Best overall investor relations (mid-cap)
- Best investor relations officer (mid-cap): Venus Zhao
- Best in sector: financials
- Best in region: China
Sinic Holdings used a variety of digital tools to stay in touch with investors during 2020, says Venus Zhao, general manager of capital markets and corporate communications at the real estate developer. She mentions virtual meetings, webcasts, website updates and chat groups, among other channels. During the year, a key topic of conversation was the performance of the housing market in China, which rebounded strongly thanks to local government support. Zhao also discusses Sinic’s 2019 print annual report. The document makes use of a ‘unique paper-cut and three-dimensional pull-up design’ to symbolize the company’s aspirations, she explains.
This is an extract of an article that was published in the Spring 2020 issue of IR Magazine. Click here to read the full article.