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Impact of cash holdings and ownership concentration on firm valuation: Empirical evidence from Australia

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Author Info

  • Rashid Ameer

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of firms' cash holdings and ownership concentration on the firms' valuation using an unbalanced panel dataset of non-financial listed firms in Australia. Design/methodology/approach – The author used a generalized method of moments approach suitable for unbalanced panel dataset to examine the impact of firms' cash holdings and ownership concentration on firms' q-ratios after controlling for the impact of financing, dividend and investment decisions, respectively. Findings – The paper finds a positive relationship between cash holdings and q-ratio of Australian firms. The ownership structure moderates the effect of cash holdings on q-ratio in asymmetric fashion, i.e. for widely held firms, there is a positive relationship between cash holdings and q-ratio; while for closely held firms, there is significant negative relationship between cash holdings and q-ratio. Furthermore, changes associated with corporate governance reforms, also effect q-ratio besides ownership structure. The paper also examined the impact of cash holdings on the market value of the firms over time. As the author predicted, increase in the cash holdings has a negative effect on the firms' market valuation, and this effect slows down over time. Overall, the empirical analysis finds support for similar findings documented for the developed countries in the literature. Research limitations/implications – The sample consists of non-financial listed firms over the period of 1995 to 2010. Practical implications – The results imply that widely-owned firms have lower cash holdings because managers are able to access capital market easily compared to firms with concentrated ownership, which might have complex agency and information asymmetry problems. These findings are consistent with the agency costs. Managers in less widely-held firms have more discretion over cash holding policies, and the value reduction imposed on these firms may reflect shareholders' recognition of the possibility of managerial expropriations. Originality/value – This is believed to be the first paper to explore agency costs of cash holdings for Australian firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Review of Accounting and Finance.

Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 448-467

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Handle: RePEc:eme:rafpps:v:11:y:2012:i:4:p:448-467

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Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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Related research

Keywords: Agency theory; Australia; Cash holdings; Cash management; Corporate finances; Corporate ownership; Free cash flows;

References

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