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Taiwan gets 6th in corporate governance rankings in Asia

TAIPEI--Taiwan was ranked sixth among 11 Asian markets in this year's corporate governance report, two spots lower than in 2010, a Hong Kong-based brokerage said Thursday.

Peter Sutton, head of Taiwan research at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, said that although Taiwan continued to make improvements to its corporate governance regime, it was still trailing behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia.

“The issue here (in Taiwan) is enforcement, for which we got a very low score. And the overall corporate governance culture got another low score,” Sutton said in a speech at a luncheon held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham).

He said Taiwan's government still seems to lack a clear organizing strategy or overarching vision for corporate governance reform.

Moreover, the system for director nominations and election continues to have serious drawbacks, causing Taiwan to lag behind some other markets in the region, Sutton said.

In 2010 when the last CLSA rankings were issued, Taiwan was tied at fourth place with Thailand and was behind Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

Every two years, CLSA and the Asian Corporate Governance Association jointly produce a report on corporate governance in Asia.

The report ranks markets on five indices, namely rules and regulations, enforcement, regulatory structure, accounting and auditing standards, and general corporate governance culture.

Meanwhile, in the rankings of corporate governance in individual companies, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) took the top spot among enterprises in the region that have market capital of more than US$10 billion, Sutton said.

That was because TSMC has a healthy financial structure, advanced technology and good shareholder returns, he said.

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