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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) published today the third edition of the Whitebook on Communication of Listed Companies, an assessment carried out with a purpose of evaluating the quality and accuracy of information provided to investors by issuers listed on BVB‘s Main Market.
The purpose of the Whitebook is to show best practices of listed companies when it comes to communicating with the investors while, at the same time, to pinpoint the weaknesses and give companies sufficient information to improve their websites as well as the manner in which they interact with investors.
While the third assessment was initially envisaged for 2018, we have received many requests from issuers who wanted the re-assessment to take place sooner. We have welcomed those requests as a positive sign that the publication of the previous edition of the Whitebook as well as complementing Guidebook on Best Practices in IR Communication were well received and have been an impulse for many issuers to adjust and improve their websites,” said Lucian Anghel, President of the Board of Governors at the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
The assessment was carried out over the months of August and September 2017 and included 85 domestic companies listed on Bucharest Stock Exchange’s Main Market. As it was done in the case of the previous Whitebook, the analysis consists of two complementary dimensions: qualitative evaluation and matrix assessment, having as final purpose rating companies’ performance. In order to track the progress done by the companies, an almost identical scoring and assessment system has been used as during the 2nd Whitebook assessment. All the issuers were thus assessed on a 10-points scale which covered aspects such as: user friendliness of the website, easiness to find IR information, equal access to information for both Romanian and English speaking investors, accuracy and completeness of information provided, information about company being listed as well as promptness and accuracy in providing answer to an IR-related questions via e-mail.
The overall result of the third assessment is that there has been progress and issuers have improved their websites and in some cases, also online communications. Generally, the difference in scores registered between the 2nd and 3rd edition of the Whitebook were of 1-2 points, but there were also companies that have had impressive jumps in the results, best example being Mecanica Ceahlau (MECF) which registered the biggest improvement – from 3 points to 9,75 / 10 points, followed by Electromagnetica (ELMA) that improved from 1 to 7 points and Romcarbon (ROCE) – from 4,5 to 9,5 points.
Another important development is that the number of companies that registered a top score of 9 – 10 points has doubled, reaching 17 issuers that is 20% of all domestic listed companies.
Some of the key takes from the Whitebook are as follows: at the time of the assessment, 1 issuer did not have an operational website, an improvement since in the May assessment when 4 issuers had non-functioning websites. 64 out of 85 issuers (75%) had the IR content available both in Romanian and English languages (improvement from 52 / 83 in May 2017). 41 out of 85 issuers (48%) answered to our anonymous request for information regarding upcoming events for investors and whether the company will be distributing dividends from 2016 profits. Overall, 43 of issuers used the results of the 2nd assessment in order to improve their websites.