WE SEE a lot of stupid things in the world of public company disclosure, but few are as dumb as the “Annual Information Update” required by European regulators.
Do a search of Google for “Annual Information Update” and you’ll see what we mean.
Look at this one via Market Wire and RNS, the “company news service from the London Stock Exchange.” Or how about this one for BP plc via DGAP-Adhoc (it’s bad). And here’s another, just for good measure, which PR Newswire made some coin on.
There is no point to these releases. They help absolutely no one. They’re meaningless make-work projects and money spinners for wire and regulatory filing services. Investors don’t benefit from them one iota.
|What’s the point then?|
Not only that, but most of these AIUs come with disclaimers at the top that go something like this:
Neither (insert your company name here), nor any other person, takes any responsibility for, or makes any representation, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of, the information contained in this AIU. The information contained in this document is not necessarily up to date as at the date of this AIU and (insert your company name here) does not undertake any obligation to update any such information in the future. Neither this AIU nor the information referred to herein constitutes, by virtue of this communication, an offer of any securities addressed to any person and should not be relied upon by any person.
So why bother issuing it then?
To answer the question in the headline — What were regulators thinking? — the short answer is that they weren’t.
by Dominic Jones
P.S. We’re still on blogging break. (It’s hard sometimes to stay away :-))