Newly created Israeli forum calls for more IR support

Nov 01, 2018
Just 30 percent of firms on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange have IR function

Israeli companies must do more to communicate with their shareholders, according to keynote speakers at the newly created Israeli Investor Relations Forum.

Of the 450 companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), only 30 percent currently have an IR program, either internally or through a consultant, said Ittai Ben-Zeev, CEO of TASE, at the forum. Last year, the exchange launched an IR information website designed to give companies better access to best practices for marketing to investors.

‘Until now, Israeli companies have not invested enough in their relationship with investors,’ said Ilan Flato, CEO of the Israeli Association of Publicly Traded Companies (IAPTC), following the opening bell ceremony for trading on TASE, which marked the official launch of the new IR association. ‘This is now our opportunity to take a quantum leap into the Israeli capital market.’

In a statement, the organization says it aims to ‘lead and promote the field of investor relations in the country, based on the understanding that proper IR management can provide a significant value to companies in particular, and to the capital market and business sectors in Israel in general.’

Oded Ben Chorin, vice president at KM Investor Relations, Israel’s first IR agency created in 1994, does not agree that Israeli companies have so far failed to nurture their relationship with investors.

‘The IR field in Israel has gone through lots of changes over the past 20 years and Israeli companies today are much more aware than ever for the need to invest in IR,’ he says. ‘True, there are still local companies not putting enough effort into this field, but there’s no question we’ve witnessed changes driven by institutional investors demanding that companies [do more in this area].’

Ben Chorin adds that Israel follows a global trend in which investors have greater involvement in investments generally. He says this is particularly true where ESG performance is concerned, and that the trend can be expected to grow in Israel over the coming years.

The forum was sponsored by BNY Mellon, the Israeli IR community and the IAPTC, in co-operation with TASE. Attendees included CFOs and IROs from companies currently traded on TASE.

‘The relationship with investors has significant value in enhancing company transparency and veracity, by means of revealing information and making it more accessible to the existing and potential investing public,’ Ben-Zeev concluded at the forum.

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