Highlights: IR Magazine Awards & Conference – Greater China 2015

Mar 14, 2016
<p>Catch up on all the prize giving and discussions from the Hong Kong event</p>

Both the old guard and the new left their mark on the IR Magazine Awards – Greater China 2015. Following a year of extreme stock market volatility, the investors and analysts voting for the awards chose two dependable names as their top IR performers. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company retained its first place in the Greater China Top 30 and the grand prix for best overall IR (large cap). China Telecom, meanwhile, remained second in the rankings, and won best IRO (large cap) for Lisa Lai and Ivan Wong.

Look further down the rankings, though, and new names emerge. TCL Communication Technology Holdings leapt 72 places to take the third spot along with three awards. In an even bigger jump, Kerry Logistics came fifth and won two awards. Having listed as recently as the end of 2013, it wasted no time making its mark. Chow Tai Fook, Samsonite Asia and Far East Consortium International also broke into the top 10 this year.  

Greater China large-cap grand prix
Dr Elizabeth Sun (right) of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company accepts the grand prix for best overall investor relations (large cap) from Yajou Chang of BNY Mellon. Click here to view the full photo gallery from the event.

The awards took place on December 4 at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. On the same day, IR Magazine held a conference where IROs from the region and other expert speakers debated issues such as shareholder activism, buy-side trends and best practice IR (see Conference recap, below).

The research behind the awards, including studies of winning IR teams and rankings for more than 125 Greater China companies, can be found in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Asia 2015/2016. To order a copy, please contact Dahman Djimani at [email protected] or +44 20 7749 9138.

Greater China Top 10

Grand prix for best overall investor relations

Large cap: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company
What the investment community says
‘I cover companies in many Asian countries and overall the best IR comes from TSMC, in both the country and the region’ – Taiwan, buy side

Mid-cap: TCL Communication Technology Holdings
What the investment community says
‘I like the articulate strategy from TCL and the effective way it shows product ranges to investors’ – Singapore, buy side

Small cap: Far East Consortium International
What the investment community says
‘Far East Consortium has a highly professional approach to IR’ – Hong Kong, buy side

Best investor relations officer

Large cap: China Telecom – Lisa Lai & Ivan Wong
What the investment community says
‘China Telecom’s very good investor relations team conducts regular meetings to update the investment community and provides monthly operating figures’ – Hong Kong, sell side

Small & mid-cap: TCL Communication Technology Holdings – Kennis Lau
What the investment community says
‘The IRO at TCL, Kennis Lau, is erudite about the industry and the firm as well as being open, accessible and knowledgeable about the sector’ – Hong Kong, buy side

Most progress in IR

Joint winner: Kerry Logistics
What the investment community says
‘The progress at Kerry Logistics is largely due to the involvement of the CFO in IR and the excellent work of IRO Cheryl Yeung’ – Hong Kong, sell side

Joint winner: PAX Global Technology
What the investment community says
‘The improvement in communications at PAX Global has been huge. It communicated very well to the capital markets on its growth plan and strategy, and the CFO and his team have done a tremendous job facilitating ongoing communications with investors’ – China, buy side

Best in country
• Mainland China (non-state-owned enterprise): Far East Consortium International
• Hong Kong: Kerry Logistics
• Taiwan: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

Best in sector
• Communications: China Telecom
• Consumer discretionary: Sa Sa International
• Consumer staples: Gourmet Master
• Energy: China Shenhua Energy
• Financials (excluding real estate): PAX Global Technology
• Healthcare: China Medical System Holdings
• Industrials: Kerry Logistics
• Materials: Baosteel
• Real estate: Far East Consortium International
• Technology: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company
• Utilities: CLP Holdings

Conference recap: calm between storms

Greater China conference
Mark Loehr (left) of Open Exchange listens to Gary Lam of Citi talking at the IR Magazine Conference – Greater China 2015

At the IR Magazine Conference – Greater China 2015, held in Hong Kong in early December and hosted by Citi’s corporate access team, IROs commiserated over a year of volatility and slowing growth, writes Neil Stewart. While they couldn’t know that just a month later China’s stock market would be hit by another slide, there was plenty of foreshadowing.

‘Think about who you should be speaking to today to counteract falls in the share price in the future,’ counseled Edward Soon, Ipreo’s head of Asia-Pacific sales, who said IR professionals looked too much in the rearview mirror instead of at the road ahead.

Suki Wong, head of IR at Anta Sports, one of the world’s biggest sportswear manufacturers, gave a presentation packed with practical crisis communications advice. Just 12 months previously Anta had faced disaster when its chairman was linked with a mainland China corruption investigation and was rumored to have disappeared. Wong described a rapid and open response to dispel doubts and rebuild confidence, including getting the chairman on a conference call with investors.

Greater China conference poll

As one of the Hong Kong-listed stocks available to mainland China investors through the year-old Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, Anta has seen huge demand. Wong described her initiatives to reach out to mainland sell-side analysts and increase exposure to Chinese institutional investors, including through WeChat, a social networking platform exceptionally popular with mainland investors and companies. She added that she gets advice about the Chinese investment community from experienced A-share companies, which, at the same time, are learning from Anta how to deal with international investors.

The audience of around 150 IROs and their advisers subsequently received a concise briefing from Brunswick on shareholder activism and joined a strong discussion on investor concerns and evolving corporate access platforms, with OpenExchange’s video meetings getting special attention. Presentations from Anta, Brunswick and OpenExchange are available here.

CASE STUDY: Communications champion

TCL Communication Technology Holdings has leapt into the All-Asia top 10 this year after not appearing in the rankings at all in 2014. Head of IR Kennis Lau, winner of this year’s award for best IRO at a small or mid-cap company in Greater China, started her career as an auditor and was a business journalist before joining TCL, where she has three others in her team. One is based in Shenzhen, the other two in Hong Kong.

Lau has certainly increased the company’s overseas non-deal roadshow activity over the past year. It now takes in locations in Europe, the US, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and China. Overall, she says, there have been more than 200 one-on-one meetings: 60 percent in Hong Kong and China, 20 percent in Taiwan, 10 percent in Malaysia and Singapore, 5 percent in Europe and 5 percent in the US.

In terms of senior management members’ involvement with the IR program, Lau calculates they attend around 15 percent of the meetings with investors and she notes that the chief financial officer ‘will participate in post-results meetings with analysts in Hong Kong and Taiwan’. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by the investment community, whose members voted CFO Thomas Liu as winner in the category for best IR by a senior management team at a small or mid-cap company.

Lau admits the ups and downs in the wider economy have made a difference to the demands on TCL’s IR team. ‘Our business coverage is rather global, so both investors and analysts are very concerned about how the macroeconomic environment affects our business in the near term,’ she explains. But Lau’s IR goal for the company remains straightforward: ‘The objective of our policy is to provide shareholders and the financial community with a true and accurate picture of TCL Communication and its business performance.’

This company profile is part of a series of case studies that appear in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Asia 2015/2016, available to professional subscribers to IR Magazine. To access a copy, please contact Dahman Djimani at +44 20 7749 9138 or email [email protected].

Greater China sponsors

This article appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of IR Magazine

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