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Ultimate privatization and change in firm performance: Evidence from China

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  • Huang, Zhangkai
  • Wang, Kun
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    Abstract

    We extend the current empirical literature on privatization by exploring the effect of ultimate privatization on the performance of Chinese listed companies. Ultimate privatization is defined as the incidence of transferring the ultimate control of a state-owned company from the government to private owners. Using a sample of 127 Chinese listed companies that have had controlling blocks transferred from the government to private owners, we show that firm performance improved significantly following this transfer. In addition, gains in profitability and efficiency are more prominent when the new controlling shareholder is an "outsider", one who does not own shares in the company prior to the transfer of control. Our results suggest that the Chinese government should continue to reduce its controlling ownership in listed companies, as the transfer of control to private owners enhances operating efficiency and profitability.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 121-132

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:121-132

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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    Keywords: Ultimate privatization Control transfer State-owned enterprises Insider Outsider;

    References

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    1. Roman Frydman & Cheryl Gray & Marek Hessel & Andrzej Rapaczynski, 1999. "When Does Privatization Work? The Impact Of Private Ownership On Corporate Performance In The Transition Economies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1153-1191, November.
    2. Megginson, William L & Nash, Robert C & van Randenborgh, Matthias, 1994. " The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: An International Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 403-52, June.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," NBER Working Papers 6625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Chen, Gongmeng & Firth, Michael & Xin, Yu & Xu, Liping, 2008. "Control Transfers, Privatization, and Corporate Performance: Efficiency Gains in China's Listed Companies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 161-190, March.
    7. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
    8. Rousseau, Peter L. & Xiao, Sheng, 2008. "Change of control and the success of China's share-issue privatization," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 605-613, December.
    9. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye, 1994. "Efficient and Inefficient Sales of Corporate Control," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 957-93, November.
    10. Xu, Xiaonian & Wang, Yan, 1999. "Ownership structure and corporate governance in Chinese stock companies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 75-98.
    11. Chen, Gongmeng & Firth, Michael & Rui, Oliver, 2006. "Have China's enterprise reforms led to improved efficiency and profitability?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 82-109, March.
    12. Kun Wang, 2009. "From State to State: Quasi-privatization and Firm Performance," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 17(5), pages 52-68.
    13. Wang, Changyun, 2005. "Ownership and operating performance of Chinese IPOs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1835-1856, July.
    14. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Ge, Ying & Qiu, Jiaping, 2005. "Can corporatization improve the performance of state-owned enterprises even without privatization?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 791-808, October.
    15. Firth, Michael & Fung, Peter M.Y. & Rui, Oliver M., 2006. "Corporate performance and CEO compensation in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 693-714, September.
    16. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
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