On becoming listed, a company is required both by regulation and market practice to transform the way it operates, the manner in which decisions are made and communications with stakeholders.
The overall regulatory framework is provided by QFMA, QSE Rulebook and Commercial Law No. (5) Of 2002. A listed company agrees to comply with certain requirements in terms of transparency and financial communications. Listed companies must disclose information that is likely to have material effect on the price of its securities, shareholders’ investment decisions or their interests. Such information can be divided into three broad types:
- Periodic financial statements;
- Information related to corporate actions such as an increase/decrease in capital, merger and acquisitions or disposals of assets, dividend payments and other significant events; and
- Ongoing material price sensitive information.
Companies should refer to the QSE Rulebook and Chapter 4 of the QSE Bylaws for full details but in summary the following represent the key on-going disclosures:
- Annual reports audited by independent accountants provided within 90 days of the end of the financial period;
- Semi-annual accounts (reviewed only) provided within 45 days of the end of the financial period;
- Quarterly accounts provided within 30 days of the end of the financial period;
- Immediate announcement to the market of price-sensitive information; and
- Notice to the market of the date of an Annual General Meeting, at least fifteen days prior to the specified date.
In addition to the QSE Rulebook, listed companies are required to adhere to the Corporate Governance Code published by QFMA. The code is a set of rules designed to deliver efficient, effective and entrepreneurial management that contributes to the board discharging its duties in the best interest of shareholders. The code is operated on a ‘comply or explain’ basis which means listed companies are expected to follow the code but if they do not they must explain where they deviate from recommendations and why and publish this in their annual corporate governance.
Please see the QFMA Corporate Governance Code for further details.