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Coronavirus

COVID-hit Taiwan shuts down all shareholder meetings through June

TSMC and Foxconn among companies forced to reschedule by spike in infections

Soldiers spray disinfectant at Taipei Main Station: Taiwan on Wednesday raised its COVID-19 alert level to three on a four-point scale.   © AP

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese regulators on Thursday suspended all shareholders meetings of listed companies from May 24 through June 30 in response to a recent jump in coronavirus cases.

The Financial Supervisory Commission's order -- which spans the busiest period for annual meetings -- affects 1,931 companies. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, were set to hold general meetings on June 8 and June 23, respectively.

The move followed a decision Wednesday by authorities to raise the islandwide coronavirus alert level to level 3, the second-highest tier.

The postponed meetings risk delaying management decisions that need to be put to shareholders for a vote, such as leadership changes and approval of major projects.

Corporations based outside Taiwan that are listed here are covered by the shutdown as well. Affected companies will reschedule their meetings between July and August and notify investors of the new dates.

While Taiwan's cumulative COVID-19 cases remain small, the island is experiencing its worst streak of infections since the pandemic began. The government on Thursday confirmed 295 new infections, marking a fifth day above 200. Taiwan has reported a total of 2,825 cases, of which 1,669 were locally transmitted, and 15 deaths.

Rising coronavirus cases are only one challenge facing Taiwan, which has also been beset by a drought and an unstable power supply.

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