Thu, Nov 11, 2004 - Page 10 News List

TSMC wins prize for investor relations

WINNING STREAK The world's largest contract chipmaker won the award for a fourth straight year ahead of 630 other Taiwanese companies, and also performed well in Asia

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

For the fourth consecutive year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufac-turing Co (TSMC, 台積電) outperformed 630 Taiwan-listed companies to grab the Investor Relations (IR) magazine award for best investor services in the country, according to survey results released last week.

"The award will compel us to do a better job in providing investors, big or small, with complete access to company information," TSMC spokesman Tzeng Jinnhaw (曾晉皓) said yesterday.

In second and third place were Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金), which ranked fifth last year, and Formosa Plastics Group (台塑), which ranked third.

"[Through IR service], not only can Chinatrust Financial's corporate value be presented but investors can also deliver their opinions to us, which has become a driving force behind our future development," Lin Shiaw-ping (林孝平), Chinatrust Financial's chief strategic officer, said yesterday.

Foreign investors currently hold more than a 50 percent share of the company.

The magazine conducted 475 phone interviews, including 35 in Taiwan, in 10 Asian countries during August and September before tallying the overall results. The respondents were primarily portfolio managers, buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts, all of whom were asked to nominate leading companies -- both overall and country-specific -- in the most important areas of investor relations activities.

The magazine developed a ranking system to credit a company with five points for every mention as best in a category, and three points for every mention of second-best.

TSMC was declared to be the winner in the Taiwan-specific category with 132 points, followed by Chinatrust Financial's 21 points and Formosa Plastics' 18 points.

When stacked up against three other Asian companies, the contract chipmaker also rated second-best in board communications, behind Singapore Telecommunications Inc (SingTel).

TSMC ranked sixth among Asian companies in organizing roadshows and investment meetings.

For small or midcap companies (defined as those with a market capitalization below US$1 billion), another Taiwanese company -- Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦) -- outperformed its Asian counterparts and made it to the number one spot in investor services, followed by National Engineering Co from Hong Kong and Ramayana Lestari from Indonesia.

"It provides information very honestly and is willing to see clients at lunches and conferences," the magazine quoted one respondent as saying about Asustek.

"It provides updated information and has well-briefed investor-relations staff," another respondent said.

The survey also probed the current state of the investor relations field, to discover which countries had most improved, which were still in need of improvement and which were the most important to institutional investors in Asia.

According to the survey's findings, China, the Philippines and Taiwan are this year's least improved, with only 69 percent of respondents saying investor relations are improving -- down from 80 percent in China and Philippines last year, and 83 percent in Taiwan.

Slightly disagreeing with the finding, Morgan Stanley executive director Gary Kuo (郭冠群) said more and more Taiwanese companies are making efforts to improve their investor relations as well as corporate governance, to prevent their respective share prices from being undervalued.

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