Sat, Apr 04, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Three companies agree to reschedule AGMs from June 19

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Three financial holding companies have expressed their willingness to adjust the dates of their annual general meetings (AGMs) after the financial regulator raised concerns that too many listed financial holding companies had decided to hold their meetings on the same date. The meetings — scheduled for June 19 — would jeopardize shareholders’ rights, it said.

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控), Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) and Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行) informed the Financial Supervisory Commission that they would reschedule their AGMs for shareholders, the financial regulator said in a statement yesterday.

Chinatrust will reschedule to June 26 from June 19, while the other two are still working on new dates.

The commission said that rescheduling was also under discussion at other financial holding companies or banks.

“To enhance corporate governance and safeguard shareholders’ rights, [some] financial holding companies and banks have agreed to reschedule their annual general meetings ... The commission very much welcomes this positive response,” the commission said in a statement.

As of yesterday, nine financial holding companies were still due to hold their AGMs on June 19, along with 16 banks, brokerages and insurance companies, Taiwan Stock Exchange tallies showed.

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) was the only financial institution to originally set a different date for its AGM, May 22. Jih Sun Financial Holding Co (日盛金控) has yet to set a date.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) denied that it planned to reschedule its meeting as reported by the Chinese-language Commercial Times yesterday.

The financial regulator is under pressure by lawmakers to persuade local financial institutions to spread out the dates of their annual general meetings after 28 companies, or 73.7 percent, of 38 listed financial companies announced they would hold meetings on June 19.

At the legislature’s Finance Committee on Wednesday, lawmakers said financial institutions’ plans to hold meetings on the same day would prevent shareholders learning about company operations and leave them unable to vote in board directors elections.

Lawmakers, moreover, were outraged after learning from the latest stock exchange tallies that 284 listed companies have scheduled to hold their meetings on June 10, 241 firms on June 16 and 258 on June 19.

To resolve this problem, the financial regulator yesterday held a meeting among its commission members and decided to propose an amendment to Article 36 of the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法).

Under the proposed amendment, listed companies (not just confined to financial companies) will be able to disclose their audited financial reports within three months following the close of each fiscal year, instead of four months.

In doing so, listed companies will have one more month to set their annual meetings as the Corporation Act (公司法) requires them to hold meetings by the end of June.

The commission said its banking bureau is currently working on the proposed amendment before submitting it to legislative review. Nevertheless, it will not be possible to implement the amendment this year and the commission said it would continue negotiations with listed companies to reschedule the dates.

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