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RESEARCH SHOWS THAT UAE COMPANIES ARE IMPROVING THEIR FINANCIAL REPORTING
03 April 2007, Dubai, UAE: Latest research from The National Investor (TNI), the Abu Dhabi based investment bank, has identified that UAE listed companies are improving their financial reporting in terms of compliance with deadlines and international standards of communicating information. TNI’s data also reveals that Abu Dhabi listed companies are more compliant than their Dubai counterparts in meeting quarterly and annual deadlines.
On average, 88% of companies on the Abu Dhabi Stock Market (ADSM) met the preliminary year-end deadline in 2007, in comparison to only 73% of Dubai Financial Market (DFM) companies. Furthermore, 97.9% of Abu Dhabi-listed companies met the quarterly disclosure deadline in 2007, against 96.3% of Dubai-listed companies.
According to the ‘Results Publication Calendar’ report, which forecasts public companies’ results announcement dates based on past behaviour, overall UAE companies continue to improve their compliance with quarterly results deadlines. 95% of UAE companies met the three 2007 deadlines, 10% more than in 2006.
The author of the report, TNI Analyst Brian Davidson, said: “Our data clearly indicates that UAE companies are taking their compliance responsibilities more seriously. The relaxation in disclosure deadlines from 31 to 45 days decreed last year also helped a great deal, as a number of auditors we spoke to told us that the previous period was extremely difficult to manage.”
In its first calendar report, in 2006, TNI had called for UAE companies to pre-announce their results dates and conduct analyst calls upon disclosure, in line with international standards. The 2007 calendar records that six companies announced this information and a number conducted analyst calls upon publication for the first time.
Conversely, yearly reporting deadline compliance worsened in 2007. Against the general trend of improvement, 81% of UAE companies published their full year results on time in 2007, compared to 90% in 2006. Eleven of the companies that missed the year end deadline in Dubai were Kuwait based organisations.
As a result of its investigation, TNI is calling for five areas of disclosure improvement: meeting disclosure deadlines; content of preliminary disclosure; use of appropriate language and format; compliance with any pre-announced result publication dates; and disclosure of results dates further in advance.
Davidson concluded: “We have closely followed the results disclosure of UAE-listed companies over the last couple of years and have witnessed notable improvements in the quality and timeliness of disclosures. However there is still plenty of room for improvement, in areas we have identified, and meeting disclosure deadlines is still one of the most important”.