Enhancement of Stockholder Rights
The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has decided to adopt electronic voting. Its decision is expected to act as a stimulus for the enhancement of voting rights of shareholders.
According to the Korea Securities Depository, a total of 452 Korean companies have adopted electronic voting, 146 and 269 of them being listed on KOSPI and KOSDAQ, respectively. The number was limited to 79 at the end of last year, but showed a rapid increase this year, as the Korean government decided to postpone the repeal of shadow voting until the end of 2017 for those adopting electronic voting.
Still, the ratio of such companies is only 19 percent (146 out of 766) in the KOSPI and 24 percent (269 out of 1,112) in the KOSDAQ. In addition, most of them did so in order to make use of shadow voting rather than to enhance shareholders’ voting rights and convenience. Investors, on their part, still have a low level of awareness of electronic voting, and companies are rather lazy in promoting the use of the system, too. The ratio of the exercise of electronic voting is currently 1.76 percent in terms of the number of shares and 0.26 percent in terms of the number of shareholders.
Under the circumstances, the move made by KEPCO, which is the third-largest company in Korea in terms of market capitalization, is likely to attract the participation of the others. Samsung Electronics had examined the adoption of electronic voting in as early as 2011.