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Ownership structure, corporate governance, and corporate performance : the case of Chinese stock companies

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  • Xiaonian Xu
  • Yan Wang
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Abstract

The authors investigate whether ownership structure significantly affects the performance of publicly listed firms in China and if so, in what way. With publicly listed stocks, one can quantify the ownership mix and concentration, which makes it possible to study this issue. The authors use the recent literature on the role of large institutional shareholders in corporate governance as a theoretical base. A typical listed stock company in China has a mixed ownership structure, with three predominant groups of shareholders -the state, legal persons (institutions), and individuals- each holding about 30 percent of the stock. (Employees and foreign investors together hold less than 10 percent.) Ownership is heavily concentrated: the five largest shareholders accounted for 58 percent of outstanding shares in 1995, compared with 57.8 percent in the Czech Republic, 42 percent in Germany, and 33 percent in Japan. Their empirical analysis shows that the mix and concentration of stock ownership do indeed significantly affect a company's performamce: there is a positive, significant correlation between concentration of ownership and profitability; the effect of concentrated ownership is greater with companies dominated by institutions than with those dominated by state; the firms'profitability is positively correlated with the fraction of legal person (institutional) shares; it is either negatively correlated or uncorrelated with the fraction of state shares and with tradable A-shares held mostly by individuals. Labor productivity tends to decline as the proportion of state shares increases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1794.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 1997
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1794

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Keywords: International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Small Scale Enterprise; Economic Theory&Research; Small and Medium Size Enterprises; Microfinance; Economic Theory&Research; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Microfinance; Private Participation in Infrastructure; Small Scale Enterprise;

References

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  1. Claessens, Stijn, 1997. " Corporate Governance and Equity Prices: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1641-58, September.
  2. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
  14. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Scholarly Articles 3606237, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Stijn Claesens & Simeon Djankov & Gerhard Pohl, 1997. "Ownership and Corporate Governance : Evidence from the Czech Republic," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11584, The World Bank.
  16. Bailey, Warren & Jagtiani, Julapa, 1994. "Foreign ownership restrictions and stock prices in the Thai capital market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 57-87, August.
  17. Zou, Liang, 1992. "Ownership structure and efficiency: An incentive mechanism approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 399-431, September.
  18. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul & Zechner, Josef, 1994. "Large Shareholder Activism, Risk Sharing, and Financial Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1097-1130, December.
  19. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
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