M. Santalova (email@example.com),
Moscow Power Engineering Institute, 14, Krasnokazarmennaya Str., Moscow, 111250, Russian Federation
Abstract. The article considers investor relations’ management in Russian companies under the economic sanctions imposed in 2014-2016 against the Russian Federation by the governments of the USA, EU and some other countries. Those sanctions limit or ban access of some Russian companies and industries to the Western capital markets and technologies. Not only the companies included into the sanctions lists suffer, but also other Russian companies face negative consequences as far as loan costs have grown, overall perception of Russian economy and its agents has become negative and the national economy fell into recession. Sanctions are not the only reason for this situation. The decrease in oil prices, structural problems and depreciation of the Rble play the major role. Nevertheless, sanctions undermine the ability of Russian companies to cope with the crisis. The market capitalization of Russian companies decreased dramatically and they are traded at huge discounts to international peers. New Eurobonds issues during the period of sanctions fell by four times and the credit ratings of the country were reduced to speculative level. Under such circumstances, investor relations (IR) management is not an easy task. The author elaborates an in-depth analysis of the practice of some Russian companies in this sphere underlining their strengths and weaknesses. First of all, the necessity of IR conducting is undisputable, otherwise the company’s shares will continue to be deeply undervalued due to investors’ unawareness. The leading Russian companies in the sphere of IR understand that a crisis is not only a tough time, but also a period when the relations with shareholders and investors can be developed and advanced. The IR managers visit more international investment conferences than before and arrange more roadshows to strengthen the investment brand and promote the company. Another tendency is to turn to Asian and Middle East capital markets for expanding the investor base and supporting liquidity. In order to underpin shareholder’s returns the companies opt for more attractive dividend policy and repurchase shares on the open market. Particular attention is paid to stricter financial discipline in order to attract attention of the potential and existing investors, thus demonstrating the ability of the company to operate without easily accessible external financing. It is concluded that companies deeply involved into IR will gain most benefits in case of sanctions’ lifting, as their investment brands will be highly credible and recognizable by the investors.
Keywords: investor relations (IR), economic sanctions, foreign investors, corporate governance, investment
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