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TWSE's employment index beats main board in returns

TAIPEI -- The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) said Thursday that its TWSE RA Taiwan Employment Creation 99 Index beat the weighted index on the main board in terms of total investment returns last year.

The TWSE said the employment index garnered 22.3 percent in total returns in 2013, compared with 15.1 percent in returns generated by the Taiwan Stock Exchange Capitalization Weighted Stock Index.

According to the TWSE, the employment index in returns closed at 5,670.82 points at the end of 2013, up from 4,637.07 at the end of the previous year.

The exchange said the employment index also beat 11.9 percent in returns posted by the FTSE TWSE Taiwan 50 Index, which is comprised of the top 50 stocks in Taiwan in terms of market capitalization.

The employment index, which was co-compiled by the TWSE and U.S.-based investment management firm Research Affiliates, was launched in December 2010 and includes the top 99 employers in Taiwan as its constituents.

The employment index covers companies in the high-tech sector, the old economy sector and the financial sector. It uses Research Affiliates methodology that determines the constituents and their weightings based on the number of employees, to show how corporations are fulfilling their social responsibilities.

The employment index is also able to reflect how local enterprises are pursuing long term development through their efforts to cultivate talent for future growth, the exchange said.

The TWSE said the Research Affiliate's innovative methodology is highly regarded in the major equity markets around the world as it can generate satisfactory returns in line with the fundamentals of its constituents.

The exchange said other corporate responsibility-related stock indexes largely focus on issues such as social justice, corporate earnings and environmental protection efforts, which can take too much time to evaluate.

As the assessment process for these indexes can also be expensive, the exchange said, it is not easy for these corporate responsibility-related indexes to generate stable investment returns.

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