IR challenges: macroeconomics a bigger concern in 2014
Macroeconomic IR challenges are the only area of concern to have grown during 2014, with almost a fifth (18 percent) of investor relations professionals naming this area as their top challenge, according to research by IR Magazine.
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Investor-related issues remain the biggest challenge in 2014, however, with 27 percent of the 753 respondents citing issues such as ‘finding small-cap investors with a long-term perspective’, ‘justifying the return on IR activities such as roadshows’ and a ‘continued lack of transparency from a stock-ownership perspective’ as their top challenges.
This number is down by 3 percentage points compared with the previous year and, coupled with a two percentage-point drop in wider market-related challenges, this means issues ‘relating to the external investment market side of the IR equation have fallen from 44 percent of total responses in 2013 to 39 percent in 2014’, according to the IR challenges study.
At the same time, the number citing macroeconomic challenges has increased by 11 percentage points – with a notable number mentioning commodity prices for the first time. Other macroeconomic challenges faced during 2014 and cited by IROs include: the Russia-Ukraine crisis and sanctions, the depreciation of the euro against the US dollar, the military coup in Thailand, the impact of Medicare competitive bidding, and the crisis in Greece.
The slight drop in investor-related challenges over the year added to the increase in macroeconomic issues means ‘the IR challenges faced in 2014 more closely resemble the challenges of 2012 than those of 2013,’ notes the report.