What the EGX Wants: An Arabic Investor Relations Website
March 23, 2013
It’s time to take Arabic disclosure seriously — if only because the good folks at the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) say so. By 1 April 2013, every EGX-listed company is required to have an Arabic web presence to ensure that local and other Arabic-speaking investors have access to the same quality of information as do institutional investors we all typically serve in English only.
The list of requirements is reasonably lengthy (we’ve taken the liberty of translating the full list of requirementshere) and ranges from basic corporate and share data to archives of disclosures, news releases and the naming of Board of Directors and Executive Management members.
While not clearly outlined in the circular EGX sent around earlier this year, the spirit of the requirement seems to be that anything you disclose to EGX or disseminate in public must — at a minimum — be made available on an Arabic-language IR microsite.
It’s a fairly daunting task, but shouldn’t take much more than a week to complete if you have an existing website and a access to a reasonably fast Arabic writer. We’re building out eight microsites this week on our InktankIRplatform this week to help friends, colleagues and clients meet the deadline. Herewith, a quick list of considerations for any of you out there sprinting to a 1 April finish:
First off, sort out what you need to meet the requirements. Check out the list of requirements. We use Trello, a free web-based tool that makes keeping track of tasks, to-dos, etc, an absolute breeze. Alternatively, download our XLSX outlining what we believe are all of the EGX IR Website Data Requirements. Ideally, you should give a couple of minutes’ thought to graphics, too: Will you show a pie chart of your shareholder structure? Do you have photos that bring your investment thesis to life for local or offshore investors who haven’t visited (and may never visit) your company?
Gather Your Data
If you don’t already have a folder with your disclosures, management bios, statutory financials and the like, pull it together. You’ll need most everything in PDF format (for downloads) or Word files (management bios, a basic company profile page, etc).
Build a Site Map and a Wireframe
Decide what content goes on which page — and how it should be structured on that page.
Identify a Tech Solution
Talk to your IT department. If you already have a solid corporate website with a proper “content management system” (what most of us refer to as a back-end), building out pages shouldn’t be much trouble. The CMS may not be able to handle the management of your stock feed, but a good system can handle the adding of pages in a new language with ease. If your IT department can’t help, there are ready-made solutions out there including our InktankIR product.
Consider Responsive Design
Responsive design is the latest craze in the website industry, and it’s here to stay: A responsively designed site is one where the front-end code (the part that determines how your website looks and feels, that brings your design to life) automatically reflows your website to make it suitable for viewing on desktops, small-screen laptops and ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones. Responsive design takes more time, but the resulting site is vastly more user friendly on screens of every size.
Data entry, data entry and still more data entry
Data entry isn’t fun, but it’s not secretarial work, either. It’s a detailed process of deciding how your information should be presented in a way that allows users to quickly and painlessly find the content they’re looking for.
When your tech provider is finished its magic and your data is entered, take a morning to test the site on as many mobiles, tablets and computers (Windows and Mac alike) as you can get your hands on. Test on Internet Explorer (at least the two most recent versions), Firefox, Chrome and Safari
Get the Keys
Whether you’re relying on your IT department or an outside provider, make certain you have a login and password so that you can update your own site going forward. Learn the ins and outs of the content management system so you can post your own disclosures, news releases and statutory financials.