More institutional investors have signed up to stewardship principles designed by the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), bringing the number of major investment institutions to back the stewardship code to 20.
The TWSE, which operates the local main board, said the new signatories include several international institutional investors and their presence is expected to help companies listed on the local equity market strengthen corporate governance and eventually boost the investment value of listed firms.
The international institutions were Holland-based Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (RIAM), New York-headquartered BlackRock, Inc., multinational Fidelity International and London-based Hermes Investment Management, according to the TWSE.
The TWSE published the principles on June 30, with the expectation that they will improve communication and exchanges between institutional investors and listed companies.
The principles have been drawn up at a time when institutional investors are playing a more critical role in the local equity market and accounting for a higher share of turnover in the equities market.
Stewardship responsibility requires that investors pay close attention to the operations of the listed companies in which they invest and vote at annual shareholders meetings, according to the TWSE.
According to the TWSE, RIAM, founded in Rotterdam in 1929, is under the corporate umbrella of the Robeco Group. As of the end of June, the managed had 269 billion euros (US$296 billion).
RIAM had invested US$3.5 billion in Taiwan's equity market as of the end of September, TWSE added.
RIAM has signed similar codes in other markets, such as the United Kingdom, Japan and Hong Kong.
For its part, BlackRock has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, the TWSE said. Total assets managed by BlackRock hit US$4.89 trillion as of the end of June, making it the largest asset management firm in the world, the TWSE added.
In Taiwan, the TWSE said, BlackRock owns BlackRock Investment Management (Taiwan) Ltd. (?????).
To strengthen its stewardship efforts, BlackRock has set up a team called BlackRock Investment Stewardship, which is responsible for interacting with companies the U.S. firm has invested in, the TWSE said.
Fidelity is a private owned asset management firm with US$271.8 billion in total assets under management covering the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, the TWSE said.
In Taiwan, Fidelity owns a subsidiary -- FIL Securities Investment Trust Co. (Taiwan) (????).
The TWSE said that Hermes was founded in 1983 and currently manages about 26 billion pounds sterling (US$32.5 billion), adding that the firm has been very active in stewardship efforts initiated in the markets in which it has invested. The exchange said that Hermes made many suggestions to the TWSE when the stewardship principles were drafted.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel