Ljubljanska borza, d. d., Ljubljana
Renewed PORTAL prize - Ljubljana Stock Exchange prize for best investor relations
Ever since 1996, the LJSE has awarded the PORTAL prize to issuers renown for their quality disclosure in compliance with the regulations. The Portal has been designed to stimulate issuers in the timely disclosure of credible information. The last Portal prize, awarded in 2006, went to Gorenje, d. d., Velenje.
So far, the prize's primary goal has been to pinpoint the issuer who has, during the past period, set an example in communicating its business to shareholders and potential investors. By modifying the established Portal assessment concept, we would like to further stress the openness of listed companies toward all interest groups; the Portal prize namely rewards best relations with (potential) investors. Our main objective has been to recognise the issuer who has, in the past assessment period, demonstrated rolemodel corporate communication methods and is thus setting a guideline for other issuers to follow; this enhances transparency and consequently builds up trust of Slovene as well as international investors into the Slovene capital markets, therefore pushing its growth and openness, while suppressing any non-transparency or information dissymmetry.
October 2006 has seen the introduction of several important changes to the assessment methods for the PORTAL prize, primarily concerned with:
1. The new assessment period
So far, the assessment period ran from April until the following April (the prize being awarded in May), whereas from now on, issuers will be assessed from October until September the following year.
2. The introduction of the new Assessment Board
The new Board comprises 6 internal (Exchange) and 6 external members. The internal members are as follows: Prof. Ivan Turk, PhD, president of the Admission Board; Barbara Nose and Andrej Šercer, both members of the Admission Board; three LJSE employees (Polona Peterle, Lidija Kupljen, and Helena U. Kitek). The external members include representatives of analysts and institutional investors (Benjamin Jošar, Abanka; Mitja Madon, Hypo Bank Alpe Adria; Robert Kleindienst, NLB Skladi; and Samo Javornik, Triglav DZU), and two representatives of the Slovene financial press (Goran Novkovič, Finance, and Damijan Toplak, Večer).
3. The new assessment methods
From now on, issuers will be subject to a two-level assessment process.
- Level one assessment will only involve the 6 internal members of the Assessment Board, assessing all official market issuers as to the disclosure minimum stipulated by the Exchange Rules and legislation (Securities Market Act), and shortlisting them to 5 to 8 issuers.
- Level two assessment will include all the 12 members of the Assessment Board who decide on the top issuer - the Portal prize winner.
4. The enhanced assessment criteria (10 criteria in 4 groups)
The ten assessment criteria now fall into four thematic groups, so that the Assessment Board will look at: how appropriately the issuers handle the disclosure of price sensitive information (observing two assessment criteria); how the companies are managed (observing one assessment criterion); what corporate communication strategy the companies employ (observing four assessment criteria); and the level of accessibility of the companies' data needed for analyses purposes (observing three assessment criteria).
5. The introduction of the issuers' questionnaire
The 5 - 8 shortlisted companies selected at level two of the assessment process will be notified of being contestants for the Portal prize and mailed an issuers' questionnaire, where they will be asked to describe in detail their activities in the fields subject to scrutiny according to the above criteria. The completed questionnaires containing the personal experiences of the issuers will then be taken into account by the Assessment Board when making their final decision.
The Portal prize as awarded according to the new assessment regime will be awarded in December 2007.
Date: 7. 11. 2006