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Expropriation of Minority Shareholders in East Asia

Stijn Claessens (), Simeon Djankov (), Joseph P.H. Fan and Larry Lang

No 2000-4, CEI Working Paper Series from Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University

Abstract: We examine the evidence on expropriation of minority shareholders by the controlling shareholder in publicly traded companies in nine East Asian countries. Higher cash-flow rights are associated with higher market valuation. In contrast, higher control rights have an insignificant or negative effect on corporate valuation. Deviations of voting from cash-flow rights through the use of pyramiding, cross-holdings, and dual-class shares, are associated with lower market values. Results are robust to the time period we study, splitting the sample by individual countries, using alternative measures of the incentive for expropriation, and using alternative measures for firm valuation. We conclude that the risk of expropriation is the major principal-agent problem for public corporations in East Asia.

Date: 2000-07
Note: This draft: July 2000
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