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Corporate governance reform and firm performance: evidence from China.

Gao, Simon S; Gao, Gordon; Zhang, Tianxi


Gordon Gao

Tianxi Zhang


Mathew Tsamenyi

Shahzad Uddin


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to empirically evaluate the effectiveness of China's 2005 shareholding reform and investigate the relationship of the changes of state-owned shareholdings and the largest shareholdings with corporate performance.

Methodology/approach – This study uses a sample of 470 listed firms that were subject to China's 2005 shareholding reform with data from 2004 and 2006. First, we examine whether the reform has reduced state-owned shareholdings measured by ownership concentration and the largest shareholdings through comparing shareholder structures of the reformed listed companies prior to and after the reform. Second, regression analysis was used to explore the relationship between the change of ownership concentration and largest shareholdings and corporate performance of Chinese listed firms.

Findings – This study reveals the effectiveness of the shareholding reform as both ownership concentration and largest shareholdings decrease. This study presents evidence suggesting a positive impact of China's 2005 shareholding reform on corporate performance and endorsing the notion that state-owned shareholdings are detrimental to corporate performance.

Research limitations – ROE is used as a measure of corporate performance, which is influenced by the rules of accounting standards and corporate behavior.

Originality/value – This study provides empirical evidence on the effectiveness of China's shareholding reform and shows a positive relation between the reduction of ownership concentration and corporate performance. This is the first study to examine this relation using the cases of Chinese listed companies. The findings have implications to regulatory bodies, public listed firms and investors in China in terms of corporate governance and shareholding configuration.

Publication Date 2009
Deposit Date Jan 25, 2012
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Pages 189-209
Book Title Corporate Governance in Less Developed and Emerging Economies (Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies
ISBN 978-1-84855-252-4
Keywords Corporate performance; shareholding; China; state-owned; private;
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