Tue, May 08, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Koo says dual-class shares not likely on governance worries

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Dual-class shares will likely not be introduced to the nation’s capital market due to concerns about corporate governance, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said.

A dual-class share structure allows a company to issue various types of shares with differently weighted voting rights. Hong Kong introduced the system in a bid to attract promising start-up companies, with Singapore to follow suit in July.

“Based on our internal assessment, the dual-class share structure is not expected to be a part of the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) and the Taipei Exchange (TPEX), as the majority of investors are local retail investors whose interests must be safeguarded by corporate governance standards,” Koo told lawmakers during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Dual-class shares would allow minority shareholders such as a company founder to give themselves a disproportionately high weighting in voting rights and give company insiders a degree of anonymity to avoid supervision, Koo said.

The listing requirements are highly accessible to biotechnology firms after their intellectual properties are granted certification from regulators, while applicants in Hong Kong must meet market value requirements, Koo said.

Separately, in the wake of Shanghai’s speedy listing approval for Foxconn Industrial Internet Co (FII, 富士康工業互聯網), a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the commission has prepared measures to loosen limits imposed on Chinese investors.

Chinese investors would be allowed to acquire up to 30 percent of a foreign enterprise’s shares on the TWSE and the TPEX without taking a controlling stake, the commission said.

Chinese investors would also be given an accelerated approval pathway under the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission and gain direct business interest in the investee, as opposed to portfolio investments, it added.

The measure is expected to make it easier for foreign-registered companies to form strategic partnerships with their Chinese counterparts, the commission said in a report to the Executive Yuan.

In addition, a US$5 million cap on investment in China by foreign-registered company insiders would be lifted, it said.

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