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KUALA LUMPUR: Investor relations practices must emphasise technological competency while also embracing environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), particularly in the post-pandemic era, said Bursa Malaysia Bhd chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar (pix).

He said the Covid-19 crisis has become a catalyst for digitalisation and technology adoption, and businesses that were previously slow to embrace them must now do so to remain relevant and to ensure business continuity in the post-pandemic era.

“Leveraging the most recent technological advancements such as big data, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will not only spur a company’s innovation but will also increase its productivity,” Abdul Wahid said in his keynote speech at the 11th Malaysian Investor Relations Awards 2021 today.

He said technology is expected to further revolutionise the investor relations industry, as with any other industry, as the world enters the fourth industrial revolution.

“Therefore, businesses must be technologically adept and agile to embrace innovation in order to compete in today’s tech-enabled and tech-centric markets,” he added.

Abdul Wahid said that aside from the technology impact, Covid-19 has shown the importance of balancing ESG and profitability.

“Over the years, investors and fund managers have become more aware of the value proposition of incorporating ESG considerations in asset allocation, and recognised the potential in the growing client demand for values-based investing,” he said.

To date, more than 4,000 fund managers and asset owners with total assets under management in excess of US$120 trillion (RM508 trillion) are signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investments.

“As strong proponents of sustainability, Bursa Malaysia leverages its unique role as a frontline regulator and market operator to provide an environment which encourages sustainable practices among market participants. We strive to achieve this through continued guidance, advocacy, and engagements within the marketplace.

“Bursa Malaysia has started collaborating with the Environment and Water Ministry and the Finance Ministry to develop a domestic emission trading scheme and this is a significant nation-building project that will assist Malaysia in meeting its climate ambitions while also creating an ecosystem that is transparent, rule-based, and meets the needs of intended market participants,” he added. – Bernama

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