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Quarterly reports: why not let shareholders decide?

Ever since mandatory quarterly reporting (QR) was introduced here in 2003, opinions have been divided as to its usefulness, which means regulators have had to constantly grapple with clamour from some quarters to scrap the practice while at the same time answer the countervailing demands of others who want the practice retained.

The reason a delicate balancing act is needed is that there is no clear-cut answer - for every argument in favour of QR, an equally compelling reason against it can be found.

For example, company managements have claimed that QR encourages short-termism and unnecessary share price volatility every three months while shareholders and investors have countered that it is only...

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