Internet technologies can be very useful to democratise access to corporate information for retail investors. The purpose of the study was to determine whether companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) were archiving conference calls and transcriptions on their corporate websites. Providing such archives enables retail investors and other stakeholders of the company, e.g. labour unions, community groups, to access the same information as that provided to analysts and large institutional investors. Websites of the largest 100 JSE companies were visited during September to November 2018 to investigate how companies utilized this technology. Results were compared to data from a 2012 study and it was found that some improvements were made in the availability of archived calls and transcriptions. This might be explained by the increase in available bandwidth in South Africa during the intervening time, which made it easier for these media files to be hosted on websites and accessed by individuals. A second explanation could be the presence of normative isomorphism in the ranks of the largest JSE-listed companies. This study contributes to the literature on how technology is used by companies to reduce information asymmetry between corporate insiders and retail investors and other stakeholders of the company.
Conference calls, Analysts, Retail investors, Stakeholders, Information asymmetry
Dr, School of Applied Accountancy, University of South Africa, South Africa
I am a senior lecturer and teach financial management and management accounting to students interested in becoming professional accountants. Prior to joining academia I was a chartered accountant and worked at various companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. My research interest is in investor relations and how companies use their websites for this purpose.