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Firm Opacity and the Clustering of Stock Prices: the Case of Financial Intermediaries

Ahmed Baig (), Benjamin Blau () and Todd G. Griffith ()
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Ahmed Baig: Lahore University of Management Science
Todd G. Griffith: Utah State University

Journal of Financial Services Research, 2021, vol. 60, issue 2, No 3, 187-206

Abstract: Abstract In this study, we develop and test the hypothesis that because of opacity, the stock prices of financial firms will cluster on round fractions more than the stock prices of non-financial firms. Indeed, we find that the stock prices of opaque financial firms round on nickels and quarters more than the stock prices of less opaque non-financial firms. These results are robust to a battery of robustness tests that include measuring clustering at different frequencies, different econometric specifications, and different matched sample techniques. To draw stronger causal inferences, we use the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act as an exogenous shock to the level of transparency in the financial services sector. We find that price clustering decreases more for financial firms than for non-financial firms during the post-SOX regulation period. We also show that, relative to less opaque financial firms, those financial firms that are more opaque experienced the greatest decline in price clustering during the post-SOX period.

Keywords: Price clustering; Financial intermediaries; Opacity; Market efficiency; G10; G14; G20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10693-020-00341-w

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