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Price inversion and post lock-up period returns on private investments in public equity in China: An interest transfer perspective

Jing Lin, Yunbi An, Jun Yang and Yinhe Liang

Journal of Corporate Finance, 2019, vol. 54, issue C, 47-84

Abstract: This paper documents an anomaly in privately-placed stock returns in China and provides an explanation based on deliberate interest transfers. Using a sample of private investments in public equity (PIPEs) with lock-up periods ending between 2007 and 2015, we find that stocks with price inversion (unlock-date price lower than the issuing price) generate higher short-term returns post lock-up period than other stocks, and the greater the degree of price inversion, the better the short-term returns. This anomaly cannot be explained by the effects of price reversal, investors' under-reaction to companies' prospects, or improved governance after PIPEs. Rather, it reflects the interests transferred by issuing firms to participating investors via means including aggressive earnings management and dividend increase, given the unique regulations on PIPEs in China. Interest transfer is particularly pronounced if local investors participate in a PIPE, but sound corporate governance can restrain it.

Keywords: Private investment in public equity; Price inversion; Interest transfer (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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