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Taiwan Stock Exchange backs adoption of E-voting
Publish Date︰2015-01-27 14:27

Taiwan Stock Exchange backs adoption of E-voting

The Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation (TWSE) is committed to enhancing the corporate governance of the Taiwanese capital market and facilitating the adoption of e-voting for the benefit of foreign and domestic investors. TWSE estimates that more than half of all listed companies, which is around 416 companies, will opt for e-voting by 2016.

 

From 1st Jan, 2016, companies listed on TWSE and Gre-Tai Market (GTSM) which have over 10,000 shareholders and paid-in-capital of NT$ 2 billion or more will be required to adopt electronic voting (e-voting) at shareholders’ meetings. TWSE has held a number of “information sessions for e-voting and board nomination system” this month to help companies, custodian banks and nominees implement the new regulations and practices of e-voting in Taiwan. TWSE invited the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC), GTSM, Taiwan Depository and Clearing Corporation (TDCC),and Taiwan Public Company Shareholder Services Association (PCSSA), and another 240 listed companies to participate.

 

The Taiwanese authorities have long  planned for a broader adoption of e-voting at shareholders’ meetings as recommended by the Executive Yuan’s “Policy Agenda and Action Plan to Strengthen Corporate Governance” in 2003. The Taiwan Company Act (Article 177-1) was also amended, granting statutory authority of e-voting as one of the methods for exercising voting rights.

 

In order to resolve the clustering of shareholders meetings in Taiwan, there is an increased demand for more voting options offered to shareholders to exercise their voting rights, especially regarding foreign institutional investors.  In addition to this new law, the regulator now enforces a new rule capping shareholders’ meetings by listed companies to 100 per day.

 

Last year, to facilitate AGM participation of foreign shareholders, TDCC also eased cross-border proxy voting via straight-through-processing (STP) and eliminated multiple manual processes currently used by local sub-custodian banks.

 

By the end of 2014, around 80% of the companies adopting e-voting amended their articles of incorporation and use the board nomination system. This move effectively reduced abstained votes cast by investors for the motion in the election of directors and supervisors through e-voting. TWSE believes that a broader adoption of e-voting also allows shareholders to exercise their legal rights, improve the standard of corporate governance and enhance shareholder activism in Taiwan.

 

“TWSE is committed to fulfilling its mission in enhancing corporate governance in Taiwan. With more companies adopting e-voting mechanism, we believe that both domestic and foreign investors will benefit in exercising their shareholders’ rights and prompt companies to safeguard their interests,” said Mr. Lee Sush-der, Chairman of TWSE and head of the Advisory Committee of the Corporate Governance Center.