Coronavirus impact: Investor outreach programmes see spike in March

The number of times companies communicated with investors and analysts through meetings, calls, and presentations saw a rise after Covid-19 took a hold on the economy.

The latest March numbers came in as the highest in five years, for which data was available. The total number of investor outreach programs rose from 2,609 in March 2019 to 2,728 in March 2020, show numbers from corporate tracker nseinfobase.com.

Investors reached out for information on issues, such as shutdown in operations, number of days it could last, and supply chain issues, said Amit Tandon, founder and managing director of Institutional Investor Advisory Services India (IiAS), which advises on corporate governance issues and helps investors vote on company decisions.

Many questions also arose because of the novelty of the situation, which has struck across geographies at the same time, according to him. “What you are seeing is completely unprecedented,” he said. 

Such meetings typically involve firms reaching out to analysts or investors to speak about their entity, and resolve queries that may arise during operations. More such queries tend to come up during such periods, as was seen since the lockdown was announced.

Source: nseinfobase.com

 
Another factor could be issues surrounding YES Bank. This may have contributed to an increase in the number of meetings in early March, but Covid-19 and subsequent actions by the regulator led to greater uncertainty, thus necessitating a higher number of investor engagements, according to Pranav Haldea, managing director of PRIME Database, which manages nseinfobase.com.

“We’re going through a very turbulent and volatile period. During such times, it becomes even more vital to engage with investors. The highest increase has been in banks and other financial services,” said Haldea.

The Reserve Bank of India had imposed restrictions on withdrawals from YES Bank, on March 5. The bank fell short of capital after failing to raise money from investors, which triggered fears of similar issues in other banks. They have since sought to reassure investors about their position.

Banking, term lending, financial services, and investment companies accounted for two-thirds of such meetings/calls.  Banking and term lending institutions had 631 meetings in March 2019. This doubled to 1,263 in March 2020.

Financial services and investment firms saw such instances increase from 409 to 577 during the period. The long-term trend has also been one of increasing instances of meetings.

There were under 2,000 meetings in March 2017. It rose 42.6 per cent to 2,728 in March 2020. Another segment that saw an increase in the number of meetings, as compared to last year, was the automobile segment.

 The sector has had to shut down operations during the lockdown. The number of investor outreach programmes rose from 148 in March 2019, to 160 in March 2020.


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