- Listing of Securities
- Corporate Governance
- Trading of Securities
- Information Services and Safety
- Market Surveillance
- Clearing and Settlement
- TWSE Securities Borrowing and Lending System
- Internationalization of Securities Market
- Monitoring of Securities Firms
- Investors Service
- Securities Information
Listing of Securities
Domestic public companies or foreign issuers that have not listed their shares on any other stock exchange have to meet certain financial and operational criteria in order to qualify for an initial public offering on the Taiwan Stock Exchange （TWSE）. The IPO filing process begins when the company submits an IPO filing application to TWSE, where the application is reviewed by the relevant internal committee before being sent to the “Securities Listing Review Committee” for consideration. If approved, the application will then need to be unanimously ratified by the TWSE Board of Directors. The ratification enables the TWSE and the applicant company to enter into an official listing contract, and then files the contract with the Financial Supervisory Commission for recordation. Applications for a secondary listing filed by foreign listed companies are reviewed by the Foreign Listing Department . After the TWSE and the applicant company enter into an official listing contract, the contract shall be filed with the competent authority for recordation.
Once listed, the company must comply with listing requirements such as the payment of listing fees and the filing of quarterly certified financial reports.
The TWSE actively promotes good corporate governance among its listed company community. The TWSE supervises and regulates their financial and operational status on a routine basis, carries out investigations into unusual circumstances, and verifies material information disclosures.
At the same time, the TWSE has focused on expanding its listed product offering by providing investors with a growing array of investment and hedging tools. Listing applications of call warrants began to be accepted in September 1997 and put warrants in January 2003. In 2003, the TWSE launched its first index-based exchange-traded product (ETP), namely an exchange traded fund (ETF), on June 30, followed by ETF warrants in July 2004, then REITs in March 2005. Offshore ETFs were introduced in August 2009. In September 2011, the TWSE pioneered the first QFII ETFs investing directly in China A shares. 2014 saw the introduction of Taiwan’s first leveraged and inverse ETFs in October. An amended regulation that had passed in May of that same year allowed futures trust enterprises to start raising funds for the launch of futures-based commodity ETFs that followed at the beginning of 2015. Other TWSE-listed securities currently include stocks, entitlement certificates of convertible bonds, convertible bonds, beneficiary certificates, Taiwan Depository Receipts (TDRs) and beneficiary securities.
Enhancing corporate governance emerged on the Taiwan government’s agenda in 1998. On January 7, 2003, the Executive Yuan set up a Corporate Governance Reform Taskforce to study pressing issues of corporate governance (CG) in Taiwan, which later became the basis for the “Corporate Governance Policy Doctrine and Action Plans" drafted in November of that same year. The CG Policy Doctrine and Action Plans formed the basis for promulgating supporting regulatory measures in the years to come, including significant amendments made in 2005 to the Company Act regarding shareholder proposal rights, board candidate nominations, and e-voting, as well as amendments made in 2006 to the Securities Exchange Act relating to independent directors and the composition of audit committees. In cultivating a clear future direction for corporate governance in Taiwan, the Financial Supervisory Commission launched the “Corporate Governance Roadmap” in 2013 which outlined a five-year plan identifying five projects and thirteen substantive action plans. The five projects include shaping corporate governance culture, promoting shareholder activism, enhancing board functions, disclosing material corporate governance information, and improving regulatory practices. In tandem with the launch of the CG Roadmap, a Corporate Governance Center was established at TWSE in October 2013 to integrate private-sector resources and elevate corporate governance effectiveness in TWSE’s listed company community. The Center focuses on five main tasks, namely to enhance the legal system and regulations, develop a culture of governance, create a platform for communication, unify and spread advocacy, and strengthen international connections. Beginning in 2014, the Center began the Corporate Governance Evaluation System annually which aims to enhance the corporate governance practices of listed companies. The Center also launched its official website ( http://cgc.twse.com.tw ) in English and Mandarin, and features an integrated information resource platform for all matters related to corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Taiwan and the world. The following year, the Center launched its first bilingual e-newsletter. Moreover, starting in 2015, the Center mandates companies fitting certain criteria to submit a Corporate Social Responsibility Report as part of their annual material information disclosures.
Trading of Securities
When the TWSE was first established, trading in the centralized market place was carried out on an open trading floor. However, to meet the changing needs of the market environment, the trading system has progressed through several phases. In August 1985, the open trading floor was gradually replaced with a computer-aided trading system (CATS), which was eventually upgraded in 1993 to a fully automated securities trading (FAST) system, which has heightened the trading capacity and efficiency of the stock market.
The trading hours of the centralized market trading session are as follows:
|Trading Sessions||Order Placing Hours||Trading Hours|
|1. Regular Trading||8:30-13:30||09:00-13:30|
|2. After-hour Fixed Price Trading||14:00-14:30||14:30|
|3. Odd-lot Trading||13:40-14:30||14:30|
|4. Block Trading||Non-paired Trade||09:00-17:00||09:00-17:00|
|6. Tender Offer||15:00-16:00||After 16:00|
Investors can place orders in person, by phone, fax or Internet. Orders are entered via terminals on securities firms’ premises into TWSE’s main computer and are processed and executed by the trading system using a price-time priority precedence hierarchy. In special cases, listed stocks may be traded through negotiation, auction, tender or other means.
Excepting warrants, trades of all securities are generated by call auction. The TWSE conducts “intra-day volatility interruptions” to prevent over volatility of stock prices. Whenever the trading system detects that the potential execution price of the security will fall out of a specified range (+/-3.5%) of the last traded price, the security matching is postponed for 2-3 minutes. As for warrants, orders are matched on a continuous basis during an intraday regular trading session. At the opening and closing of the trading session, warrant orders are still matched by call auction. The TWSE discloses the 5 best bid and ask prices/volume of unexecuted orders after the matching (including call auction or continuous trading method) on a real-time basis.
In addition, investors can trade through an omnibus trading account. Once the transaction is made, securities firms submit a Post Allocation Transaction Statement to TWSE, after which the trades are settled individually in each investor’s sub-account.
Information Services and Safety
As Taiwan’s premiere trading venue for secureties, the TWSE is responsible for upholding the integrity of the markets and safeguarding investor rights. In view of these, we are committed to the safety, accuracy, and efficiency of all information and communication safety mechanisms. There are two full capacity back-up computer sites to guard against any possible system failure. The quality and efficiency of TWSE’s information services have been duly recognized. TWSE was certified to the ISO9001 Quality Management System standards in the years 1998, 2004, 2008, 2011 and 2012. Additionally, TWSE’s information service systems have earned certifications in ISO27001 Information Security Management System and BS10012 Personal Information Management System.
A healthy and orderly market should see investors’ rights and privileges being upheld, while incidents of manipulation and insider trading become rarer occurrences. In accordance with market surveillance regulations, the TWSE discloses material information regarding irregular trading activity to investors in real time. Disciplinary measures, as defined in the Regulations, may be taken to constrain irregular market behavior and fight intentional breaches of market integrity.
Clearing and Settlement
According to the “Securities and Exchange Act”, and TWSE’s “Operating Rules” and “Contract for Use of the Centralized Securities Exchange Market”, the TWSE acts as a clearinghouse for all the trades executed in the market. All securities firms have to fulfill settlement obligations to TWSE, which acts as the Central Counter Party “CCP” and gives settlement guarantees to all the trades in the market.
The TWSE implements a same-day clearing method and employs a multilateral net settlement to calculate the net amounts of shares and funds receivables and payables between securities firms and the TWSE. The settlement cycle is T+2.
Settlement obligations of securities firms have to be fulfilled on settlement day and cannot be deferred to the next business day. A securities shortfall can be covered by applying to use TWSE’s “Settlement Coverage Securities Borrowing System” which requires a collateral deposit and a borrowing fee from the borrowing securities firm. If a sufficient amount of securities cannot be borrowed to cover the shortfall, the buying securities firm will get due bills issued by TWSE as temporary coverage and the selling securities firm has to purchase shares for the buying securities firm within the settlement cycle.
Settlement of securities in the form of book-entry is operated by the Taiwan Depository and Clearing Corporation (TDCC, the Central Securities Depository “CSD” in Taiwan), entrusted by TWSE. Settlement of funds is conducted through the Electronic Interbank Funds Transfer and Settlement System (CIFS) of the Central Bank, which acts as the settlement bank of the securities market.
When a securities firm defaults, another securities firm will be designated by TWSE to complete settlement on behalf of the defaulted firm and to liquidate the defaulted positions in the market. Losses and expenses incurred will be initially covered by the Joint Settlement Clearing Fund (JSCF) contributed to by the defaulted securities firm, then the First Special Clearing Fund (SCF) contributed to by TWSE, followed by the Second SCF and the JSCF contributed to by the other securities firms, shared jointly pro rata.
TWSE Securities Borrowing and Lending System
The TWSE instituted its Securities Borrowing and Lending System (SBL) on June 30, 2003, which established the TWSE as the primary clearing broker of authorized financial institutions engaged in securities lending activities. Lenders include trust enterprises, insurance companies and certain qualified foreign institutional investors, while borrowers include securities firm lending accounts, securities broker-dealers, and certain qualified foreign institutional investors. These institutions apply to TWSE to undertake securities lending transactions that are either fixed-rate, competitive auction, or negotiated trades. In this way, lenders can profit from their securities lending activity and at the same time meet trading, hedging, arbitrage, and settlement needs of borrowers, all of which help to increase the efficiency and liquidity of market transactions. More information about SBL can be found on the TWSE website at http://www.twse.com.tw/en/products/SBL/SBL_edu.
Internationalization of Securities Market
In order to enhance international information exchange and cooperation, the TWSE has entered into Memorandums of Understanding with more than 30 foreign stock exchanges, and actively participates in global securities meetings and organizations, such as the WFE, AOSEF, ANNA and IOSCO.
The TWSE holds promotional tours every year as part of its efforts to advance the liberalization and internationalization of Taiwan’s securities market, travelling to major American and European global financial centers, as well as to Asia and the Middle East to promote Taiwan as an investment destination. Additionally, the TWSE holds conferences and meetings at which renowned international scholars and experts speak to investment houses and financial institutions on current international market trends in addition to the continuing liberalization of the Taiwan stock market.
Evidence of TWSE’s rapid progress in internationalization can be seen in the recent additions to our proprietary index family, notably the broad-market “Formosa Stock Index” that was launched on May 5, 2014. Index cooperation contracts have been signed or extended with international index providers such as FTSE International Limited (FTSE), Research Affiliates, LLC (RA), and S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&PDJI) to help expand TWSE’s index-based ETP offering. The ETP product line will help meet pent-up domestic demand for passive investment products and at the same time keep pace with international trends in the global ETP space.
The TWSE’s cooperation with FTSE commenced in 2002 with the launch of the “FTSE TWSE Taiwan 50 Index”. This cooperation produced eight other indices, including the “FTSE TWSE Taiwan Mid-Cap 100 Index”, the “FTSE TWSE Taiwan Technology Index”, the “FTSE TWSE Taiwan Eight Industries Index” and the “FTSE TWSE Taiwan Dividend+ Index”.
To emphasize the importance of corporate social responsibility and support government policies, the TWSE entered into a cooperation contract in 2010 with Research Affiliates, LLC (RA), to launch fundamentally based indices with corporate social responsibility themes, namely the “TWSE RA Taiwan Employment Creation 99 Index” and the “TWSE RAFI® Taiwan High Compensation 100 Index”. On January 27, 2014, the TWSE entered into a cooperation contract with S&PDJI to launch the “S&P/TWSE Taiwan Low Volatility High Dividend Index” to promote the global trending investment of “low volatility” and “high dividend”. As a result, the TWSE owns a wide range of proprietary index families, which includes traditional capitalization weighted indices to themed and fundamentally weighted ones.
Monitoring of Securities Firms
According to the Securities and Exchange Law, the establishment of a securities firm and its branch has to be approved and licensed in advance by the relevant authority. Prior to participating in the market, a securities firm must sign a contract with TWSE then deposit a settlement and clearing fund. The securities firm is responsible for its employees in both sales representation and ethical behavior when conducting centralized market business.
To enhance their financial structure and risk management, all securities firms must meet capital adequacy ratio requirements in order to stay in business. The TWSE regularly sends inspectors to check the securities brokers and dealers on-site to verify that their business operations and financial status meet all these requirements. In addition, the TWSE maintains a whistleblower system that helps scrutinize the operational risk of securities firms. This system also provides for a risk control database for margin trading in order to strengthen the risk management of securities firms.
For the purpose of simplifying and reducing paperwork for trading participants, the TWSE established a unified reporting system in 1999 that enabled securities brokers to file all TWSE-required reports through a single electronic user interface; also provided is an e-mail trading and direct market access (DMA) so securities broker can make full use of the most advanced technology. Furthermore, the TWSE has relaxed restrictions on securities firms’ personnel, sites and facilities in addition to encouraging their automation efforts so as to reduce operational cost.
The TWSE actively develops various services for our investors. To keep up with the internet era of exploding and rapidly changing information, the TWSE furthers its effort in providing diversified online service platforms. Investors can now access all TWSE sites including our official website, Market Observation Post System, Market Information System, Data eShop, WebPro 3.0 Video Broadcast, Investor Education, and TWSE Facebook Fan Page, and more, to obtain timely information and investment know-how, from any where in the world.
To enhance diffusing of financial knowledge in the general public, the TWSE has organized diverse lively events along with promotional activities in recent years. There are aimed at people from all walks of life so as to find ways to connect financial knowledge to the investing public. Currently, our financial literacy campaign, outreach and promotion are focused on two major areas: school and community. Financial literacy activities on campus include: college/university financial lectures, investment workshops for teachers, financial management workshops for Teenagers, and a campus securities investment competition. For the general public, the TWSE has set up the “Virtual Investor’s Library” to provide online inquiry answers on how to open security accounts and other transaction information. Available also are prize games, educational comics and videos of securities investment ；this makes learning more engaging and active.
“The Virtual Investor’s Library” makes possible 24/7 service for investors. Users are given easy access to specialized web pages such as “Investor Personal Data Inquiry System”, “Financial Statements of All Listed Companies”, “Warrant Statistics”, “Data eShop”, “ETFs”, “Monthly Financial Reports of All Securities Brokers and Dealers”, “TWSE Facebook Page” and “Publication/Brochure/Pamphlet”. The TWSE can also be reached at “Contact Us /Suggestion Box” where all enquiries and claims will be responded swiftly. The TWSE makes special effort to provide the best service to all of our investors and hopes that with every step we take, the securities market will be ever more accessible to the general public.
To enhance the fairness and efficiency of securities trading, the TWSE uses various channels such as websites and publications to give investors easy access to securities information.
TWSE’s website ( http://www.twse.com.tw/en/ ) carries official announcements concerning securities listing and trading, as well as other securities information for investors’ reference. In addition, the following websites can be accessed from TWSE’s home page.
- Market Information System（ http://mis.twse.com.tw/stock/index.jsp?lang=en_us ）:
This website provides real-time trading information about the market and individual stocks, including “Market Summary, Sector Group Quotes, Five Best Bids and Asks, Category Zone, Block Trade, Odd Lot Trade, SBL Inquiry and Market Announcements”.
- Market Observation Post System （ http://mops.twse.com.tw）:
This website provides financial and operational information about listed companies, including company profiles, financial statements, operational summaries, electronic book and material information.
- WebPro 3.0 Video Broadcast（http://webpro.twse.com.tw）:
This website provides live broadcasts of investor conferences, earnings releases, press conferences of market sensitive information, listing ceremonies, investor educational activities, and other such information as to inform the investor in a timely manner of material events in the market.
- Securities and Futures Market Cloud Platform（http://data.twse.com.tw/）:
This website is a joint project developed by TWSE, TPEx, TAIFEX, the TDCC, and SITCA in order to provide a unified information services platform where financial institutions and investors alike can access material statistics and disclosures across the entire securities market.
- Investor Education（http://investoredu.twse.com.tw/Pages/TWSE.aspx）:
This website, the revamped version of which launched on December 23, 2014, provides educational resources to equip investors with better investment knowledge, financial planning skills, and risk management concepts. Various mediums such as video clips and e-books are available that give investors a better understanding of the products that the TWSE offers and how to trade these financial instruments.
- Corporate Governance Center Website
This website, made available on September 25, 2014, is the TWSE’s one-stop service window to all things related to corporate governance and corporate social responsibility among TWSE’s listed company community, including Taiwan’s related rules and regulations, evaluation metrics and published results, advocacy activities, and other material events and activities.
- Data e Shop（http://dataeshop.twse.com.tw/）:
This website provides data vendors and investors with on-line subscriptions to data services, including end-of-day market statistics, index constituents and historical trading data.
To provide investors with versatile reference data, the TWSE publishes a “Stock Chart of Taiwan Stock Exchange Capitalization Weighted Stock Index and Trading Volume & Value” at the beginning of each year, showing market trends since 1977 (in Chinese only). In addition, the TWSE also puts out the following periodicals, which are also available on TWSE’s website:
- Taiwan Stock Exchange Review Monthly (monthly) ;
- Taiwan Stock Exchange Statistical Data (annual) ;
- Highlights of TWSE Listed Securities (annual) ;
- Status of Securities Listed on Taiwan Stock Exchange (monthly) ;
- Taiwan Stock Exchange Annual Report (annual) ;
- Fact Book (annual)
To inform and educate investors, the TWSE has compiled a series of booklets. Investors can either access these on TWSE’s website ( http://www.twse.com.tw/en/ ), or obtain hard copies at securities firms’ premises.
The TWSE has established an “Investors Reading Room” (3F, No. 7, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd., Taipei) to display prospectuses and quarterly financial reports of all listed companies, as well as monthly and semiannual financial reports of all securities brokers and dealers.
To bring the public closer to the stock market, the TWSE set up an Information Center in mid-2008. The Center provides the following information:
- market data displays such as trading graphs, international stock market data, foreign exchange rates, and trade data displays;
- current trends in TWSE; and
- live broadcasts of ceremonies and speeches.