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Corporate Governance in China: Current Developments . Dr. Chen Xiao Hong Director of ERI / DRC: OECD Policy Dialogue on Corporate Governance in China Beijing May 2005. Table of Contents . I. Corporate governance: Meaning and significance

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Corporate governance in china current developments l.jpg

Corporate Governance in China:Current Developments

Dr. Chen Xiao Hong

Director of ERI / DRC:

OECD Policy Dialogue on Corporate Governance in China

Beijing

May 2005


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Table of Contents

I. Corporate governance: Meaning and significance

1.1 Implication and content of the structure of corporate governance

1.2 Why attention is paid to corporate governance globally

1.3 Why attention is paid to corporate governance by China’s SOEs

V. Revision of China’s Company Law

II. Question one for the governance of SOCs: Corporate legal form and legal relationship

III. Question two for the governance of SOCs: The issue of system structure

IV. Question three for the governance of SOCs: The issue of administrative system for SOA

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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I Corporate governance: Meaning and significance for SOEs

1.1 Implication and content of the structure of corporate governance

1. Implication:

  • System arrangement for the relationship between stakeholders to the company and corporate framework;

  • Comprehensive arrangement of relevant concept system, commercial rules and laws;

  • “Separating the operation from the ownership” in large companies makes the system of governance structure the core and the fundamental system in corporate governance

    2. Content of the system of corporate governance:

  • System arrangement for stakeholders;

  • Arrangement of decision-making (including supervisory) authority and corresponding rules;

  • Encouragement system for the operator and the manager.

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1.2 Why attention is paid to corporate governance globally

  • Historically, attention is paid to corporate governance by the theoretical and the

  • industrial circles and since the 1980s attention has been paid to it once again:

  • Many problems occurred to companies in countries such as USA, UK and Japan etc. in the 1980s;

  • Organizational investors with enhanced power kicked off the campaign for sophistication of corporate governance;

  • SOEs were reformed and listed during 1980~1990s and the capital market was expanded;

  • Economic development is globalized and countries in the world compete for foreign investment;

  • Technological revolution and innovations in financial instruments make investment in huge amount earlier, but raising higher requirement for corporate governance;

  • A range of research accomplishments such as Campbell Report etc. were turned out.

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1.3 Why attention is increasingly paid to corporate governance in China

  • 1. SOEs are critical to national economy

  • The main body for the majority of service industries and the key sector for industry (covering a heavy proportion in basic industries)

  • A key source for employment in cities and towns

  • The main source of financial revenues

  • The proportion of SOEs in industrial sector (in 2003, %)

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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1.3 Why attention is increasingly paid to corporate governance in China

2. Required by practice and policies

● Unsophisticated governance of SOEs and PLCs is a critical factor affecting the effective operation of China’s companies and the healthy development of large companies with competitiveness and capital market.

● It was set down in the document of CPC Central Committee’s Determination on Some Critical Issues Concerning the Reform and Development of SOEs from the Fourth Plenary Session of the 15th Central Committee of CPC that, normative reform of large- and medium-sized SOEs to adopt corporate system shall be performed. Corporate system is an effective organizational form of modern enterprise system and the structure of corporate governance by legal person is the core of corporate system.

● Company Law and Securities Law etc. are gradually perfected.

● The system of independent director and improving actions such as encouragement with stock options etc. are being implemented in China.

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Table of Contents governance in China

I. Corporate governance: Meaning and significance to SOEs

II. Question one for the governance of SOCs: Legal form and legal relationship

2.1 Basic forms of and questions for SOEs

2.2 Design of SASAC and issues to be researched

III. Question two for the governance of SOCs: The issue of system structure

IV. Question three for the governance of SOCs: The issue of administrative system for SOA

V. Revision of China’s Company Law

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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2.1 Legal forms of SOCs and problems governance in China

1. There are 4 legal forms

  • Enterprises registered according to the Enterprise Law;

  • Solely state-owned companies;

  • Diversified companies;

  • State holding (including relatively holding) PLCs

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2.1 Legal forms of SOCs and problems governance in China

2. Problems of significance:

There is no BOD for enterprises registered per the Enterprise Law:

-- or the general manager assumes duties of BOD, and the company may go out of control,

-- or state-owned assets authority assumes duties of BOD, and over intervention is likely.

There is BOD for SOCs registered per the Company Law:

-- all directors are insiders,

-- problems of unclear rights and obligations, insufficient supervision and insufficient authorization for state-owned assets authority coexist.

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2.1 Legal forms of SOCs and problems governance in China

2. Problems of significance:

There is BOD for state holding companies with diversified shares:

-- overcontrol of company by dominant shareholders

-- improvement of governance is needed, but the system is unsound

There is BOD for state holding listed companies:

-- violation of public shareholders’ benefits exists

-- how to reasonably regulate “dominant shareholder”?

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2.2 Two special legal issues for companies governance in China

1. Unsound legal system for special companies

  • The monopoly of for-profit and not for-profit and the sector of commonweal enterprises

  • National defense enterprises etc

  • No Special Company Law, and the relationship between Company Law and industrial laws is not well dealt with

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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2.2 Two special legal issues for companies governance in China

2. Project companies to which attention shall be paid

● Companies engaged in the sector of infrastructure

● Companies engaged in public services such as water supply and environmental protection etc. (a new question after the diversification of stock right)

● The relationship with the creditor, “excessive loan” and the bank related issues

● The relationship with policies is unclear, unjustified regulation and overregulation coexist

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2.3 Problem-solving ideas and approaches governance in China

● In most cases, SOEs registered per the Enterprise Law shall be transformed into companies registered per Company Law;

● Sophisticated BOD shall be established in SOCs;

● Revising Company Law to sophisticate corporate governance;

● Sophisticating Securities Law to strengthen the reasonable supervision of company controller;

● Special company law shall be researched, or improving the relationship between the governance of special companies and the administration of public policies by legal means such as company charter etc.;

● Improving the administration of project companies by PFI and intensified competition etc.

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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Table of Contents governance in China

I. Corporate governance: Meaning and significance to SOEs

II. Question one for the governance of SOCs: Legal form and legal relationship

III. Question two for the governance of SOCs: The issue of system structure

3.1 Sophisticating internal governance system

3.2 Solving the long existed issue of structure

IV. Question three for the governance of SOCs: The issue of administrative system for SOA

V. Revision of China’s Company Law

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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3.1 Sophisticating internal governance system governance in China

1. Sophisticated duties under the basis framework:

  • Clarifying duties of various organs

  • Shareholders/shareholder meeting

  • Directors/BOD/committees

  • CEO

  • Internal monitoring system

  • Clarifying duties of various organs

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3.1 Sophisticating internal governance system governance in China

2. Sophisticated system:

  • Organizational structure and composition

  • Operation of BOD and outcome

  • Strategy and monitoring

  • Human resources

  • Internal control and risk control

  • Information disclosure and transparency

  • Company obligations

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3.1 Sophisticating internal governance system governance in China

3. The relationship between the governance of parent company and that of subsidiaries

  • Special attention shall be paid to this issue

  • Out of control and manipulation shall be avoided

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3.1 Sophisticating internal governance system governance in China

4. Two problems of significance

  • Unclear organizational duties (between state-owned assets authority and companies, and between BOD and the management)

  • Coverage system of the governance is incomplete

  • Governance and management are blurred in terms of system, unfavorable for an effective management by the manager

    5. Problem-solving ideas and approaches

  • Building the concept of governance

  • Establishing sophisticated governance system

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3.2 Solving the long existed issue of structure governance in China

1. The long existed issue of structure is a critical reason for unsmooth relationship in governance of SOEs

Inheriting Co.

2. Problem-solving approaches

  • The state assumes responsibilities

  • Separating the inheriting companies from the listed companies

  • Establishing trust companies (by experience from Japan)

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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Table of Contents governance in China

I. Corporate governance: Meaning and significance to SOEs

II. Question one for the governance of SOCs: Legal form and legal relationship

III. Question two for the governance of SOCs: The issue of system structure

IV. Question three for the governance of SOCs: The issue of administrative system for SOA

4.1 Features of the existing SOA system

4.2 Understanding and suggestions

V. Revision of China’s Company Law

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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4.1 Features of the existing SOA system governance in China

The basic framework of existing system for SOA

administration was formed in 2003:

  • Fulfillment of financers’ duties in levels is clarified

  • Ownership functions are unified

  • Main efforts are given to the promotion of system construction, “personnel” and assessment

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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4.2 Understanding and suggestions governance in China

1. Understanding and evaluation

  • Basic directions for SASAC:

  • Clarifying shareholder’s duties and orientation

  • Strengthening the construction of governance system

  • Some actions are transitional: “first tightened and then released”

    2. Some suggestions

  • Strengthening governance construction

  • Transparent rules and open information

  • Independent evaluation by a third party

  • Clarified responsibilities and more sufficient authorization

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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Table of Contents governance in China

I. Corporate governance: Meaning and significance to SOEs

II. Question one for the governance of SOCs: Legal form and legal relationship

III. Question two for the governance of SOCs: The issue of system structure

IV. Question three for the governance of SOCs: The issue of administrative system for SOA

  • V. Revision of China’s Company Law

    5.1 Basic facts about Company Law

    5.2 Revision of Company Law: favorable for governance reform and self-administration

国务院发展研究中心企业研究所


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5.1 Basic facts about Company Law governance in China

Company Law is a basic law critical to corporate

governance in China

  • Going effective in 1994

  • Two revisions in 1999

  • Significant revision by National Congress in 2004

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5.2 Revision of Company Law will help improve corporate governance

Strengthening corporate self-administration, for instance

-- establishment and investment etc., reducing compulsory stipulations

-- self-formulated rules such as company charter etc. play more important roles

Improving corporate governance, for instance

-- clarified director’s responsibilities

-- responsibilities of the dominant shareholder

-- intensified supervision

Strengthening the protection of shareholder’s benefits

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Thank You! governance

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