The week in investor relations: Reddit to go public, JPMorgan switches conference to virtual and SEC enhances protections against insider trading

Dec 17, 2021
This week’s other IR-related stories that we didn’t cover on

­– Reddit, the social media platform that found itself at the center of meme-stock mania earlier this year, filed to go public, reported the BBC. In the filing, Reddit did not specify the number of shares it plans to sell. In August, a funding round saw the social platform valued at more than $10 bn. At the start of 2021, Reddit discussion forums helped fuel major movement in the share prices of heavily shorted stocks like GameStop. 

­– JPMorgan Chase switched its major healthcare conference to a virtual format after attendees began to drop out, reported CNBC. The 40th Annual J P Morgan Healthcare Conference is due to take place next year on January 10-13. ‘The health and safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance and, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we have made this decision,’ said the bank, according to emails seen by CNBC. 

– The SEC proposed amendments to Rule 10b5-1 that it said are designed to enhance disclosure requirements and investor protections against insider trading. The proposal includes updates to Rule 10b5-1(c), which provides an affirmative defense to insider trading for parties that frequently have access to material non-public information, including corporate officers, directors and issuers.

– The US Federal Reserve is on course to raise interest rates three times in 2022, marking a hawkish shift in policy, reported the Financial Times (paywall). The news follows a two-day policy meeting where the Federal Open Market Committee kept its main interest rate at 0 percent-0.25 percent. Along with the interest rate forecasts, the Fed announced it would accelerate reductions in its bond-buying program. 

 The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reported that Facebook faces more calls from shareholders to address harm on its platforms and corporate governance at the company, now known as Meta Platforms. Shareholders including the New York State Common Retirement Fund and Illinois State Treasurer are among an investor group that collectively filed eight shareholder proposals for consideration at the company’s AGM.

– According to CNBC, an investor group led by Trillium Asset Management is urging Starbucks to respect the workers who voted successfully to organize a union at one local cafe in Buffalo, New York. Signatories to a letter include New York City comptroller Scott Stringer, the Northwest Coalition For Responsible Investment, the Sustainable Advisors Alliance and more. Trillium holds about $48 mn worth of Starbucks shares.

 CNN reported that, according to a new report, as climate change increases sea levels, fuels more extreme rainfall and supercharges hurricanes, US businesses are set to collectively lose millions of days of operation in the coming years due to flood-related damages. A new analysis by First Street Foundation, a non-profit research and technology group that assesses flood risks, and Arup, a commercial engineering firm, found that in 30 years damage costs will reach $16.9 bn and the days lost will climb to 4 mn.

 Reuters reported that Singapore Exchange (SGX) will start requiring companies to provide climate-related reporting as well as disclosures on board diversity from next year. All issuers must provide climate reporting on a comply-or-explain basis in their sustainability reports from the financial year starting 2022. Climate reporting will become mandatory for companies in the finance, agriculture, food, forest products and energy industries from the financial year 2023. Issuers in the materials, buildings and transportation industries will have to comply from 2024.

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