The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is considering easing punishments for companies that fail to hold shareholders’ meeting by the end of June due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as health authorities suggest that people cancel or avoid public gatherings of more than 1,000 people, FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) told a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee yesterday.
Publicly listed companies must hold their annual general meetings by the end of June or face a fine of NT$240,000 to NT$4.8 million (US$7,990 to US$159,798), according to the Securities and Exchange Act (證交法).
The commission would also encourage companies to use an electronic voting system operated by Taiwan Depository and Clearing Corp (TDCC, 台灣集中保管結算所) to reduce the possibility of infection, Koo said.
Listed companies with paid-in capital of more than NT$10 billion and more than 10,000 shareholders have been asked to offer the e-voting tool, dubbed “Stockvote,” to their shareholders, the commission said.
Last year, shareholders who used the system accounted for 52.54 percent of the total, TDCC data showed.
“Big companies might find themselves in an awkward situation if they have more than 1,000 shareholders to attend the meetings,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Sheng Fa-hui (沈發惠) said at the meeting.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the biggest assembler of Apple Inc’s iPhones, for example, drew more than 3,000 people to its shareholders’ meeting last year, about 1,000 more than the number of attendees in the previous two years, Sheng said.
While most listed companies are to convene their shareholders’ meetings in June, some that usually have the meetings in April or May might decide to postpone them to June because of the virus fears, he said.
Shareholders who have respiratory symptoms or a fever should be allowed to attend the meetings to exercise their rights, but companies need to take extra measures to prevent infection, Koo said.
The commission is expected to make public its relaxed rules later next month at the earliest, he said.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the