Emily Vogl, Frank Vogl
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IIF Publishes New Report on Investor Relations
Progress Seen By Emerging Market Countries
Washington DC, April 28, 2008 — The Institute of International Finance (IIF) today published a new survey of investor relations and transparency in emerging markets. The report highlights the importance of good communications between market participants and public authorities.
The IIF work on sovereign Investor Relations (IR) and Data Transparency supports other initiatives of the Institute related to crisis prevention in financial markets, most notably the Principles for Stable Capital Flows and Fair Debt Restructuring in Emerging Markets. The Principles, agreed between sovereign issuers and investors in 2004, created a vital framework for strengthening emerging markets finance. A key component of this new framework is improved investor relations and data release by sovereign issuers.
IIF Managing Director Charles Dallara said, "A growing number of sovereigns recognize the importance of active investor relations and adequate data dissemination practices in light of the increased role played by private capital flows in today's environment."
Mr. Dallara added," Going forward, as we observe the challenges facing the global economy, it will be important for policy makers in emerging markets to help to narrow the gaps between the information and IR activities that investors are seeking and that many sovereigns are providing."
The IIF's work in the area of emerging markets IR and transparency has been guided by the IIF's Working Group on Crisis Prevention, chaired by Mr. Robert B. Gray, Chairman, Debt Financing and Advisory at HSBC Bank, plc. Mr. Gray said, "The reemergence of market strains in recent months fueled by a heightened level of uncertainty further underscores the value of active investor relations programs. Adequate data transparency and effective communication delivered by sovereigns helps investors to better differentiate among countries in the asset class."
The new report, "Investor Relations: An Approach to Effective Communications and Enhanced Transparency," covers 38 emerging market countries. Due to increased investor interest in Sub-Saharan African countries, the IIF has expanded its coverage of investor relations practices of selected countries in the region. The report includes assessments of six Sub-Saharan African countries that have already or are expected to issue debt on the international capital markets: Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. Noteworthy progress has been made by Morocco who launched the first formal investor relations program in Africa.
Using 44 distinct criteria for assessing a country's investor relations and transparency practices, the survey found that Brazil attained the highest overall weighted score for best practices, with Korea and Turkey jointly in second place. The report said that 9 of the 38 countries in the survey now have formal IR programs. The Dominican Republic is the country that made the most significant improvement in the IIF Investor Relations index, with commendable efforts on improving data transparency and dissemination practices as well.
The inclusion of an "Investor Relations Directory" is a new feature added to this report. With the inclusion of the 6 new Sub-Saharan countries, the report now covers 38 countries. Of which, only 8 publish investor relations contact persons on a government agency website. The IIF noted it expects the directory will be quite useful and appreciated by investors. The IIF plans to update the directory in real time on its website. The IIF will also continue to update its website in real time with changes to the index.
Emily Vogl, Frank Vogl