Mon, May 07, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Listed firms asked for data on independent directors

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s listed companies have been requested to provide detailed information about their independent directors, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has said.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange and Taipei Exchange made the request as per the commission’s instructions, it said.

The companies are required to supply the information before the end of business hours today, commission officials said.

The move came after commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) was on Thursday last week grilled by the legislature’s Finance Committee on the eligibility of National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔).

Kuan might have hampered corporate governance at Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) by participating in the telecom carrier’s board meetings as an independent director before gaining approval from NTU, Koo told the committee.

The Ministry of Education on April 27 decided to not appoint Kuan as NTU president, citing a conflict of interest as the main reason, referring to Kuan serving as an independent director on the company’s board while Taiwan Mobile vice chairman Richard Tsai (蔡明興) was on the NTU presidential election committee.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) on Friday said that the latest flareup in the probe into Kuan’s appointment has caused unease at all of the nation’s listed companies.

Listed firms are concerned about a possible backlash stemming from the probe, which has begun to threaten the convention of forging partnerships between businesses and academia, Chen said.

There used to be an understanding that allowed professors to assume independent director positions before filing paperwork and meeting requirements, Chen said.

Later on Friday, the commission said the inquiry is not exhaustive, and aims to verify whether professors have received approval from their universities before assuming independent director positions.

The request also asks for information about ongoing collaborative projects with business, it said.

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