With Teodora Dănilă – IR & ESG Director IMPACT Developer & Contractor, Alexandra Zipiș – Senior Legal Advisor Agista and Alexandra Șica – PR & IR Manager TeraPlast
A survey of individual investors’ perception of communication with listed companies, carried out by ARIR in 2019 on a sample of 104 investors, showed that quarterly published financial reports were the most important source of information for 84% of them, and half of the respondents followed the Bucharest Stock Exchange’s website daily. The same study also showed that most individual investors decide to invest in a company based on its financial results, business strategy and dividend policies.
The study published by ARIR in 2019 was conducted on the basis of a sample of 104 investors, of which 57% owned a portfolio of over 50 thousand lei.
Meanwhile, the pandemic period accelerated the digitalization process and came up with new challenges for both IR and communication teams and individual investors on the stock exchange, whose numbers have increased. Updating websites, regularly organizing online conferences for investors, continuously informing on the development strategy, presenting detailed reports are just some of the actions that companies have improved to meet the need to inform investors in conditions of multiple crises. In this context, the questions are asked: “How many investors are using technology and how prepared are they to understand the technical potential of the materials provided by the companies in which they want to invest? and What are the sources of information for individual investors in the era of digitalisation and multiple crises?”
Here are some aspects noticed by ARIR members in November 2022:
Teodora Dănilă, Director IR & ESG, IMPACT Developer & Contractor:
“In 2022, we all saw a state of waiting for investment decisions. As far as we are concerned, we have continued the commited strategy of interacting proactively with the market, including individual investors, through various communication tools, such as organizing teleconferences to present results, organizing Investor Day, dedicated newsletters. Our management was also present in the shows they watched and in discussions with individual investor clubs. Individual investors are divided into several categories and we try to reach each of these categories with our story.
We have professional investors, who are continuously informed and follow a long-term investment strategy, there are also investors who invest in the short term and, last but not least, they are the ones who have held shares for a long time and have not been able to inform themselves after they came into their possession. It is currently difficult to quantify the share of each type of investor. In terms of interaction with us, with the company, we also have individual investors who call us and ask us for information that is already public, information about dividends or shareholdings.’’
If we generalize, in the context of overlapping crises, the IR departments notice an increase in the interest of individual investors in administrative information.
Alexandra Zipiș, Senior Legal Advisor Agista
“We work with professional investors. Over the past year, we have noticed a slight reluctance due to the effects of the war, the energy crisis and the inflationary context in participating in share capital increases in listed companies.
Regardless of the period, as a way of working, we constantly inform investors, we present them the strategy and the pillars in which we invest. We allocate capital in areas that we consider strategic in the medium and long term, such as: It&C, Healthcare, Recycling, Agritech. Beyond transactions and returns, they are also interested in how the funds work, the team and the impact they create in the economy through the investments they make.
Although we are in the era of digitalization, where there is a lot of public information about how to invest capital, we are increasingly noticing that investors are turning to the IR department to make informed decisions.
Alexandra Șica, PR&IR Manager TeraPlast
“There were several occasions when we were contacted for clarifications because either they read the convener and/or did not understand one or two items on the agenda, or whether they have had concerns, but at the same time, they were embarrassed to ask in ordernot to give the impression that they were not aware or that they were not informed.
There is also the other side of the coin, the investors who, out of convenience, call the IR team, if they are sure that they are answered by phone, preferring to be explained to them rather than to go through the reports themselves. The increase in the number of investors on BVB is a very good thing for the Romanian capital market, but at the same time the initiatives to educate investors must increase.
I don’t think it’s comfortable for either companies or individual investors to get emotional when the markets are going down, and then I’ve noticed that their first reaction is to call the company and ask what’s going on, why are the prices going down and how they should proceed.
There is a need for more financial education of how a stock exchange works, but I think this should be a joint, market-wide effort. I have also noticed that the individual investors would rather call you than write you an email or message on WhatsApp. Last year, we felt in many situations the feeling of concern on the part of a number of investors.”