TAIPEI — The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) plans to hold five seminars on corporate governance in a bid to launch a discussion on how listed companies might improve their operations.
The TWSE, which runs the local main board, said the seminars will be held, in Hsinchu, Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, with the first one scheduled for March 1. At the same time, the exchange will evaluate corporate governance practices at listed companies for 2017.
The seminars are expected to offer a comprehensive picture as to how the TWSE plans to grade corporate governance by detailing related criteria, the exchange said.
This is the fourth year the TWSE has conducted such evaluations, which have attracted the attention of listed companies. According to the exchange, it will place more emphasis on whether a listed company uses an electronic voting system at general meetings so that shareholders unable to attend can still express their opinion.
The exchange said the e-voting system improves the quality of shareholder meetings by encouraging participation which should strengthen corporate governance.
Other criteria being given more weight are whether a listed company voluntarily sets up an audit committee or has proactively compiled and issued a corporate social responsibility report, according to the TWSE said.
In addition, the TWSE will look at whether listed companies hold annual general meetings by the end of May in a bid to ensure meetings are not held during the traditional peak shareholder meeting period of June, making it easier for shareholders to attend.
The TWSE will also look at whether a listed company publishes its annual results within two months of the year-end to improve transparency, while the exchange will pay attention to whether a company has a functional committee to supervise operations.
At the upcoming seminars, the TWSE will invite experts from the government-sponsored Taiwan Depository & Clearing Corporation (TDCC) and representatives from the Stock Affairs Association of the Republic of China to share information on how to introduce an e-voting system for shareholder meetings and other information related to corporate governance.
The TWSE said that efforts to improve corporate governance are expected to improve the competitiveness of the local equity market as well as the capital market.
In October, Taiwan was listed in fourth place in the 2016 Asian corporate governance rankings conducted by the Asian Corporate Governance Association, up two places from the previous rankings in 2014.