The Objectives of the Book
The main objective of this book is to examine Investor Relations (IR) Practices of Bahraini Listed Companies and offer recommendations to improve the local IR Practices.
The main questions to be addressed by the book are the following:
- What are the IR practices of Bahraini companies listed on Bahrain Stock Exchange?
- What are the main drivers that affect the local IR activities?
- What are the current IR practices of companies around the world?
Significance of this book
Bahrain as a Financial Center is well regarded when it comes to its regulatory financial system. It has been the undisputed financial capital of the Middle East for more than 40 years. The main contributor to this position is the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The CBB is the most successful regulatory authority in the Arab World in areas beyond Financial Services and Capital Markets regulations. This book is significant because it will offer some recommendations to improve the currently prevailing IR practices to maintain Bahrain position as the leading Financial Center in the Middle East.
According to Thomson Reuters, International Investors are keen to invest in the Middle East Region due to its promising growth prospect. However, transparency and disclosure by companies remain a deterrent for those prospective investors to engage with companies in the region. Companies in Bahrain should take the lead in improving their IR practices to attract and engage those prospective investors to bring more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), which are likely to stimulate more growth in the different economic sectors.
The internet plays a pivotal role in the globalization of the world economy by facilitating the process of disseminating of information. This book will shed light on how companies could utilize the internet to communicate with their existing and prospective investors.
Finally, this book is vital because more and more Bahraini Nationals started to invest in shares over the past few years and moved away from traditional investments mainly real estate. The subject of IR is interesting because it is a multidisciplinary field that integrates marketing, communication, finance and securities laws.
Benefits of this Book
Several constituents could benefit from this book to improve the local IR practices. These constituents include listed companies, regulators and journalists.
Listed companies, represented both by the board of directors and executive management, could use this book to improve their current IR practices. They could benchmark their websites against their peers using the website analysis model and they could devise effective IR plans with the use the body of knowledge presented in this book and its useful appendices that open new knowledge frontiers in the area of IR.
Regulators could use this book in improving the current regulatory environment to encourage and enforce listed companies to improve their investors communication and disclosure. They perhaps should consider amending certain laws that could lead to more shareholders activism, which is likely to force companies to upgrade their IR practices.
Business journalists should consider the critiques they received from the various interviewees to upgrade their business news coverage skills to reveal the story behind the numbers reported by the listed companies in Bahrain.
Regulators and business journalists could play a pivotal role in spreading the awareness of the IR concept to the financial community and the public by collaborating in conducting awareness campaigns through workshops and the publication of various articles on the subject.
Although this study was focused on Bahraini Listed Companies, the author strongly believes that the findings and lessons learned could be easily exported to other Arabian Gulf States (GCC) as they are likely to have the similar IR practices due to the geographical factor, common social culture and the economic development level.