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Use open conference calls for listed firms' updates

Published Mon, Nov 24, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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LOW retail participation in the stock market has been a source of concern lately, and a variety of proposals have been put up to remedy this. One fundamental area which has not been discussed much is the current practice of Singapore listed companies disclosing information selectively to analysts, institutional investors and the media through post-result briefings.

Retail investors get to know important information only through analysts' result updates at a later stage - if at all - and thus feel disadvantaged. This informational advantage given to a select group of people also has potential for abuse.

In advanced markets such as the US, full disclosure regulations have barred such practices. Companies discuss their results through open conference calls accessible to all investors. Many small-cap Indian companies (those with market caps of under US$200 million) even hold conference calls open to all investors, complete with International toll-free numbers. Cost is clearly not an issue.

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