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Corporate Governance Best Practice Principles for TWSE/TPEx Listed Companies  CH

Amended Date: 2020.02.13 
Categories: Corporate Governance
   Chapter II Protection of Shareholders' Rights and Interests
      Section 1 Encouraging Shareholders to Participate in Corporate Governance
Article 4    The corporate governance system of a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall be designed to protect shareholders' rights and interests and treat all shareholders equitably.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall establish a corporate governance system which ensures shareholders' rights of being fully informed of, participating in and making decisions over important matters of the company.
Article 5    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall convene shareholders meetings in accordance with. the Company Act and relevant laws and regulations, and provide comprehensive rules for such meetings. TWSE/TPEx listed companies shall faithfully implement resolutions adopted by shareholders meetings in accordance with the rules for the meetings.
    Resolutions adopted by shareholders meetings of TWSE/TPEx listed companies shall comply with laws, regulations and articles of incorporation.
Article 6    The board of directors of a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall properly arrange the agenda items and procedures for shareholders meetings, and formulate the principles and procedures for shareholder nominations of directors and supervisors and submissions of shareholder proposals. The board shall also properly handle the proposals duly submitted by shareholders. Arrangements shall be made to hold shareholders meetings at a convenient location, with sufficient time allowed and sufficient numbers of suitable personnel assigned to handle attendance registrations. No arbitrary requirements shall be imposed on shareholders to provide additional evidentiary documents beyond those showing eligibility to attend. Shareholders shall be granted reasonable time to deliberate each proposal and an appropriate opportunity to make statements.
    For a shareholders meeting called by the board of directors, it is advisable that the board chairperson chair the meeting, that a majority of the directors (including at least one independent director) and convener of the audit committee, or at least one supervisor, attend in person, and that at least one member of other functional committees attend as representative. Attendance details should be recorded in the shareholders meeting minutes.
Article 7    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall encourage its shareholders to actively participate in corporate governance. It is advisable that the company engage a professional shareholder services agent to handle shareholders meeting matters, so that shareholders meetings can proceed on a legal, effective and secure basis. A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall seek all ways and means, including fully exploiting technologies for information disclosure, to upload annual reports, annual financial statements, notices, agendas and supplementary information of shareholders meetings in both Chinese and English concurrently, and shall adopt electronic voting, in order to enhance shareholders' attendance rates at shareholders meetings and ensure their exercise of rights at such meetings in accordance with laws.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company is advised to avoid raising extraordinary motions and amendments to original proposals at a shareholders meeting.
    TWSE/TPEx listed companies are advised to arrange for their shareholders to vote on each separate proposal in the shareholders meeting agenda, and following conclusion of the meeting, to enter the voting results the same day, namely the numbers of votes cast for and against and the number of abstentions, on the Market Observation Post System.
Article 8    A TWSE/TPEx listed company, in accordance with the Company Act and other applicable laws and regulations, shall record in the shareholders meeting minutes the date and place of the meeting, the name of the chairperson, the method of adopting resolutions, and a summary of the essential points of the proceedings and the results of the meeting. With respect to the election of directors and supervisors, the meeting minutes shall record the method of voting adopted therefore and the total number of votes for the elected directors or supervisors.
    The shareholders meeting minutes shall be properly and perpetually kept by the company during its legal existence, and should be sufficiently disclosed on the company's website.
Article 9    The chairperson of the shareholders meetings shall be fully familiar and comply with the rules governing the proceedings of the shareholders meetings established by the company. The chairperson shall ensure the proper progress of the proceedings of the meetings and may not adjourn the meetings at will.
    In order to protect the interests of most shareholders, if the chairperson declares the adjournment of the meeting in a manner in violation of rules governing the proceedings of the shareholders meetings, it is advisable for the members of the board of directors other than the chairperson of the shareholders meeting to promptly assist the attending shareholders at the shareholders meeting in electing a new chairperson of the shareholders meeting to continue the proceedings of the meeting, by a resolution to be adopted by a majority of the votes represented by the shareholders attending the said meeting in accordance with the legal procedures.
Article 10    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall place high importance on the shareholder right to know, and shall faithfully comply with applicable regulations regarding information disclosure in order to provide shareholders with regular and timely information on company financial conditions and operations, insider shareholdings, and corporate governance status through the MOPS or the website established by the company.
    To treat all shareholders equally, it is advisable that the company concurrently disclose the information under the preceding paragraph in English.
    To protect its shareholders' rights and interests and ensure their equal treatment, a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall adopt internal rules prohibiting company insiders from trading securities using information not disclosed to the market.
    It is advisable that the rules mentioned in the preceding paragraph include stock trading control measures from the date insiders of a TWSE/TPEx listed company become aware of the contents of the company’s financial reports or relevant results.
Article 11    The shareholders shall be entitled to profit distributions by the company. In order to ensure the investment interests of shareholders, the shareholders meeting may, pursuant to Article 184 of the Company Act, examine the statements and books prepared and submitted by the board of directors and the reports submitted by the audit committee or supervisors, and may decide profit distributions and deficit off-setting plans by resolution. In order to proceed with the above examination, the shareholders meeting may appoint an inspector.
    The shareholders may, pursuant to Article 245 of the Company Act, apply with the court to select an inspector in examining the accounting records, assets, particulars, documents and records of specific transaction of the company.
    The board of directors, audit committee or supervisors, and managers of the TWSE/TPEx listed company shall fully cooperate in the examination conducted by the inspectors in the aforesaid two paragraphs without any circumvention, obstruction or rejection.
Article 12    In entering into material financial and business transactions such as acquisition or disposal of assets, lending funds, and making endorsements or providing guarantees, a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall proceed in accordance with the applicable laws and/or regulations and establish operating procedures in relation to these material financial and business transactions which shall be reported to and approved by the shareholders meeting so as to protect the interests of the shareholders.
    When a TWSE/TPEx listed company is involved in a merger, acquisition or public tender offer, in addition to proceeding in accordance with the applicable laws and/or regulations, it shall not only pay attention to the fairness, rationality, etc. of the plan and transaction of the merger, acquisition or public tender offer, , but information disclosure and the soundness of the company's financial structure thereafter.
    The relevant personnel of a TWSE/TPEx listed company handling the matters in the preceding paragraph shall pay attention to the occurrence of any conflicts of interest and the need for recusal.
Article 13    In order to protect the interests of the shareholders, it is advisable that a TWSE/TPEx listed company designate personnel exclusively dedicated to handling shareholder proposals, inquiries, and disputes.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall properly deal with any legal action duly instituted by shareholders in which it is claimed that shareholder rights and interests were damaged by a resolution adopted at a shareholders meeting or a board of directors meeting in violation of applicable laws, regulations, or the company's articles of incorporation, or that such damage was caused by a breach of applicable laws, regulations or the company's articles of incorporation by any directors, supervisors or managers in performing their duties.
    It is advisable that a TWSE/TPEx listed company adopt internal procedures for appropriate handling of matters referred to in the preceding two paragraphs, and that it keep relevant written records for future reference and incorporate the procedures in its internal control system for management purposes.
      Section 2 Establishing a Mechanism for Interaction with Shareholders
Article 13-1    (The board of directors is responsible for establishing a mechanism for interaction with shareholders)
    The board of directors of a TWSE/TPEx listed company is responsible for establishing a mechanism for interaction with shareholders to enhance mutual understanding of the development of company's objectives.
Article 13-2    (Efficient communication with shareholders to gain their support)
    In addition to communicating with shareholders through shareholders meetings and encouraging shareholders to participate in such meetings, the board of directors of a TWSE/TPEx listed company together with officers and independent directors shall engage with shareholders in an efficient manner to ascertain shareholders' views and concerns, and expound company policies explicitly, in order to gain shareholders' support.
      Section 3 Corporate Governance Relationships Between the Company and Its Affiliated Enterprises
Article 14    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall clearly identify the objectives and the division of authority and responsibility between it and its affiliated enterprises with respect to management of personnel, assets, and financial matters, and shall properly carry out risk assessments and establish appropriate firewalls.
Article 15    Unless otherwise provided by the laws and regulations, a manager of a TWSE/TPEx listed company may not serve as a manager of its affiliated enterprises.
    A director who engages in any transaction for himself or on behalf of another person that is within the scope of the company's operations shall explain the major content of such actions to the shareholders meeting and obtain its consent.
Article 16    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall establish sound objectives and systems for management of finance, operations, and accounting in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. It shall further, together with its affiliated enterprises, properly conduct an overall risk assessment of major banks they deal with and customers and suppliers, and implement the necessary control mechanisms to reduce credit risk.
Article 17    When a TWSE/TPEx listed company and its affiliated enterprises enter into inter-company business transactions, a written agreement governing the relevant financial and business operations between them shall be made in accordance with the principle of fair dealing and reasonableness. Price and payment terms shall be definitively stipulated when contracts are signed, and non-arm's length transactions shall be prohibited.
    All transactions or contracts made by and between a TWSE/TPEx listed company and its affiliated persons and shareholders shall follow the principles set forth in the preceding paragraph, and improper channeling of profits is strictly prohibited.
Article 18    A corporate shareholder having controlling power over a TWSE/TPEx listed company shall comply with the following provisions:
  1. It shall bear a duty of good faith to other shareholders and shall not directly or indirectly cause the company to conduct any business which is contrary to normal business practice or not profitable.
  2. Its representative shall follow the rules implemented by its company with respect to the exercise of rights and participation of resolution, so that at a shareholders meeting, the representative shall exercise his/her voting right in good faith and for the best interest of all shareholders and shall exercise the fiduciary duty and duty of care of a director or supervisor.
  3. It shall comply with relevant laws, regulations and the articles of incorporation of the company in nominating directors or supervisors and shall not act beyond the authority granted by the shareholders meeting or board meeting.
  4. It shall not improperly intervene in corporate policy making or obstruct corporate management activities.
  5. It shall not restrict or impede the management or production of the company by methods of unfair competition such as monopolizing corporate procurement or foreclosing sales channels.
  6. The representative that is designated when a corporate shareholder has been elected as a director or supervisor shall meet the company's requirements for professional qualifications. Arbitrary replacement of the corporate shareholder's representative is inappropriate.
Article 19    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall retain at all times a register of major shareholders who own a relatively high percentage of shares and have controlling power, and of the persons with ultimate control over those major shareholders.
    A TWSE/TPEx listed company shall disclose periodically important information about its shareholders holding more than 10 percent of the outstanding shares of the company relating to the pledge, increase or decrease of share ownership, or other matters that may possibly trigger a change in the ownership of their shares.
    The major shareholder indicated in the first paragraph refers to those who owns 5 percent or more of the outstanding shares of the company or the shareholding stake thereof is on the top 10 list, provided however that the company may set up a lower shareholding threshold according to the actual shareholding stake that may control the company.