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Investment opportunities, corporate governance quality, and firm performance in the UAE

Bakr Al-Gamrh, Ku Nor Izah Ku Ismail, Tanveer Ahsan and Abdulsalam Alquhaif
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Ku Nor Izah Ku Ismail: UUM - Universiti Utara Malaysia
Tanveer Ahsan: Rennes School of Business
Abdulsalam Alquhaif: University of Hail

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Abstract: Purpose – This paper examines the influence of investment opportunities on firm performance and evaluates corporate governance practices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to determine whether corporate governance quality moderates that influence. Design/methodology/approach – A fixed-effects regression was employed to examine the influence of investment opportunities on firm performance and the role of corporate governance quality as a moderator for all listed firms on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). We examined 501 firm-year observations for the period when the corporate governance code in the UAE was coming into force, from 2008 to 2012. Findings – The regression results indicate that investment opportunities have a negative influence on firm performance. The corporate governance index used here shows that the level of corporate governance practiced in the UAEis weak.Wealso find that strong corporate governance ameliorates the negative influence of investment opportunities, which supports our hypotheses. The sub-indices of corporate governance that matter the most for moderating investment opportunities are board functioning and ethics. Practical implications – The results of this paper reflect the need to examine corporate governance in the context of the external environment represented by investment opportunities in our study. The findings could raise awareness of the importance of strong corporate governance practices, not only to directly improve firm performance but also through its influence on external variables. Legislators, regulators and other interested parties could use these results to examine practices in the UAE following the implementation of the corporate governance code. Originality/value – This study contributes to the literature by evaluating the role that corporate governance quality and its components could play in firm performance and indirectly moderating other external factors (such as investment opportunities).

Keywords: Investment opportunities; Firm performance; The UAE; Corporate governance quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-04-23
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Published in Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies,, 2020, 10 (2), pp.261-276. ⟨10.1108/JAEE-12-2018-0134⟩

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DOI: 10.1108/JAEE-12-2018-0134

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