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Does liberalization reduce agency costs? Evidence from the Indian banking sector

Chinmoy Ghosh, John Harding and B.V. Phani

Journal of Banking & Finance, 2008, vol. 32, issue 3, 405-419

Abstract: On February 16, 2002, the Reserve Bank of India issued a circular that signaled a policy liberalization facilitating acquisition of private sector banks in India by foreign entities. Portfolios of private sector and nationalized banks posted significant value gains in the days surrounding the announcement. The gains by private sector banks were almost double those of nationalized banks. We further analyze the firm specific abnormal returns using cross-sectional regressions and find a significant relation between firm-specific abnormal returns and factors typically associated with a bank's potential for takeover. These results provide the first empirical support for Stulz's hypothesis that one cause of the valuation gains associated with liberalization is the expected gain from a reduction of agency costs.

Date: 2008
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