Best annual report: What the Greater China and South East Asia judges are looking for
Last year, Link Asset management (large cap), Xtep International Holdings (mid-cap) and Sa Sa International Holdings (small cap) took home the awards for best annual report in Greater China, while in South East Asia the awards went to Singtel (large cap), Central Pattana (mid-cap) and AEM Holdings (small cap). IR Magazine caught up with one of the judges to find out what he was looking for in a winning entry.
William Tsang, head of research, Chartwell Capital and judge for the IR Magazine Awards Greater China – 2021
'I always pay attention to the chairman’s or CEO’s letter to shareholders as it provides me with a sense of the firm’s culture and its overall direction, as well as its ambitions for the future. Most companies mainly talk about what they are doing, but if the firm can provide insights and figures at the industry level, it makes it a lot more appealing to me. I also like consistency, so that there’s a base for investors to keep track of the company.
'When it comes to information disclosure, I would say there’s no upper limit here. After all, these are listed companies and they are responsible for disclosing information to their public shareholders, though I do understand that some businesses are rather sensitive and feel they can’t reveal too much as part of their corporate secrecy.
'I have noticed a trend where listed corporates are expanding their efforts in IR and how IR communicates with shareholders, as well as their efforts connecting the capital markets – I think this is important and I find it quite useful.
'The footnotes in the balance sheet, income statements and cash flow statements are also very important. More and clearer explanations on each item can definitely create more trust between investors and the firm, and these figures are very helpful for analysts when researching the company.
'When it comes to the design of the annual report, this isn’t something I usually pay much attention to but, for example, [among the 2021 nominees], one company especially stood out: [best annual report winner in the mid-cap category] Xtep. It changed the design of the annual report to align with its branding efforts and also changed the shape of the report itself. It was something different and refreshing, which I appreciated. All these bits and pieces actually tell you the team has invested quite a lot of effort.'
This year, the as-yet undecided judging panel will choose the best in IR from across eight categories at each event:
- Best annual report
- Best crisis management
- Best ESG materiality reporting
- Best investor event
- Best IR during a corporate transaction
- Best IR website
- Best use of multimedia for IR
- Rising star.