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Announcement of the Results of the 2019 Corporate Governance Evaluation
The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) announced that the sixth (2019) Corporate Governance Evaluation had been completed. There were a total of 1,600 companies evaluated, including 901 TWSE- and 699 TPEx-listed companies. According to the evaluation scores, the companies are divided into seven groups of the top 5%, 6% to 20%, 21% to 35%, 36% to 50%, 51% to 65%, 66% to 80%, and 81% to 100%, respectively. The evaluation results for the TWSE- and TPEx-listed companies are announced separately.
In order to help investors understand the performance of the evaluated companies in their respective industries, the evaluation results were also released on an industry on industry basis, including the financial industry (44 companies in total), electronics industry with a market value of TWD 10 billion or more (183 companies in total), and non-finance and non-electronics industry with a market value of TWD 10 billion or more (189 companies in total). For each sector, the companies are classified into five groups, which are the top 10%, 11% to 20%, 21% to 40%, 41% to 60%, and 61% to 100% according to the scores.
The Taiwan Stock Exchange said that after several years of promotion, the Corporate Governance Evaluation has become the most important measure to encourage listed companies to actively adopt sound corporate governance practices. The new Corporate Governance Roadmap (hereinafter referred to as the “New Roadmap”) published on April 24, 2018 also highlighted “enhancing the effectiveness of the Corporate Governance Evaluation System” as one of the important strategic objectives. The 2019 evaluation, in accordance with the New Roadmap, strengthened qualitative indicators, increased differential scoring and added questionnaires for the collection of feedback in order to further encourages companies to value actual practices and implementation after the establishment of the corporate governance framework and appropriately disclose relevant performance. In addition, there is an extra credit and point deduction mechanism, which will add or deduct points for companies which have good performance in the field of corporate governance, significantly contribute to the corporate social responsibility or seriously violate corporate governance.
The Taiwan Stock Exchange further explained that it has gradually led the enterprises to adopt the best corporate governance practices through the meaning of indicators and the promotion of relevant laws and regulations. According to various 2019 corporate governance-related statistics, on the protection of shareholders' rights and interests, 764 companies have mandated in their articles of association a director and supervisor candidate nomination system, a significant increase of 280% from 201 companies in 2014. In terms of the operations of the board of directors, a total of 696 companies have set up an audit committee, an increase of 309% from 170 in 2014. As to information disclosure, the number of companies that filed annual financial statements before the end of February has grown from 22 in 2014 to 87 in 2019, an increase of 295%. The number of companies that provided information in English for their AGM has also grown significantly since 2014; the number of companies providing English meeting notices has grown from 73 to 539, the number of companies offering the English agenda handbook has grown from 80 to 398, and moreover, the number of companies providing English annual reports has grown from 80 to 360. In addition, as of the end of 2019, there were 359 companies which prepared the corporate social responsibility report, also a big increase from 171 companies in 2014. In future, the TWSE will continue to enhance the effectiveness of the Corporate Governance Evaluation according to the New Roadmap, and promote corporate governance and corporate social responsibility practices among companies to accelerate the integration of Taiwan’s corporate governance with international standards and enhance international competiveness of the capital market.
The results of the 2019 Corporate Governance Evaluation can be found on the Corporate Governance Center website (https://cgc.twse.com.tw/evaluationCorp/listEn) and the Securities & Futures Institute website (https://www.sfi.org.tw/cga/cga1). The Taiwan Stock Exchange and the Taipei Exchange will decide later about the method to honor the top 5% companies (45 from TWSE and 35 from TPEx) due to the coronavirus epidemic concerns and make notifications respectively.