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Political Relationships, Global Financing and Corporate Transparency

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  • Christian Leuz
  • Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Abstract

This study examines the financing choices of firms operating in a weak institutional environment. We argue that in relationship-based systems, global financing and strong political connections are alternative means to create firm value. Well-connected firms might be less inclined to access global capital markets because (state-owned) domestic banks provide capital at low cost. Moreover, the expanded disclosures and additional scrutiny that come with issuing foreign securities might be at odds with close political ties at home because these ties can best be exploited when little is disclosed about the firm. Using data from Indonesia, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that global financing and political connections are substitutes: Firms with close political ties to former President Soeharto are significantly less likely than nonconnected firms to have publicly traded foreign securities. To study performance effects, we examine how returns during the Asian financial crisis differ between firms with and without foreign securities. Consistent with prior work, we find that firms with foreign securities exhibit higher returns during the crisis. However, our data indicate that politically well-connected firms also received considerable support during this period. These results suggest that previous estimates of cross-listing benefits are considerably biased if domestic opportunities such as political connections are ignored.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 03-16.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:03-16

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  1. William A. Reese, Jr. & Michael S. Weisbach, 2001. "Protection of Minority Shareholder Interests, Cross-listings in the United States, and Subsequent Equity Offerings," NBER Working Papers 8164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Which Capitalism? Lessons Form The East Asian Crisis," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 11(3), pages 40-48.
  3. Johnson, Simon & Mitton, Todd, 2003. "Cronyism and capital controls: evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-382, February.
  4. Shahrokh M Saudagaran & Gary C Biddle, 1995. "Foreign Listing Location: A Study of MNCs and Stock Exchanges in Eight Countries," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(2), pages 319-341, June.
  5. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Robin L. Lumsdaine, 1998. "Dating the Integration of World Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 6724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  7. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2001. "Does Financial Liberalization Spur Growth?," NBER Working Papers 8245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
  9. Shahrokh M Saudagaran, 1988. "An Empirical Study of Selected Factors Influencing the Decision to List on Foreign Stock Exchanges," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(1), pages 101-127, March.
  10. Stulz, Rene M, 1981. "On the Effects of Barriers to International Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 923-34, September.
  11. 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.
  12. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  13. Errunza, Vihang R. & Miller, Darius P., 2000. "Market Segmentation and the Cost of the Capital in International Equity Markets," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 577-600, December.
  14. Craig Doidge & G. Andrew Karolyi & Rene M. Stulz, 2001. "Why are Foreign Firms Listed in the U.S. Worth More?," NBER Working Papers 8538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Merton, Robert C, 1987. " A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
  16. Mitton, Todd, 2002. "A cross-firm analysis of the impact of corporate governance on the East Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 215-241, May.
  17. Blass, Asher & Yafeh, Yishay, 2001. "Vagabond shoes longing to stray: Why foreign firms list in the United States," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 555-572, March.
  18. Fan, Joseph P.H. & Wong, T.J., 2001. "Corporate Ownership Structure and the Informativeness of Accounting Earnings in East Asia," CEI Working Paper Series 2001-21, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  19. Sherman Cheung, C. & Lee, Jason, 1995. "Disclosure environment and listing on foreign stock exchanges," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 347-362, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Bunkanwanicha, Pramuan & Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, 2006. "Big Business Owners and Politics: Investigating the Economic Incentives of Holding Top Office," CEI Working Paper Series 2006-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Quoc-Anh Do & Yen-Teik Lee & Bang Dang Nguyen & Kieu-Trang Nguyen, 2012. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Value of Political Connections in Social Networks," Working Papers 22-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  3. Durnev, Artyom & Guriev, Sergei, 2007. "The Resource Curse: A Corporate Transparency Channel," CEPR Discussion Papers 6547, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Francis, Bill B. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Sun, Xian, 2009. "Political connections and the process of going public: Evidence from China," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 696-719, June.
  5. Stulze, Rene M., 2008. "Securities Laws, Disclosure, and National Capital Markets in the Age of Financial Globalization," Working Paper Series 2008-13, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  6. Doidge, Craig & Andrew Karolyi, G. & Stulz, Rene M., 2007. "Why do countries matter so much for corporate governance?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-39, October.
  7. Chung, Chi-Nien & Mahmood, Ishtiaq & Mitchell, Will, 2009. "Political Connections and Business Strategy: The Impact of Types and Destinations of Political Ties on Business Diversification in Closed and Open Political Economic," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-24, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. Allayannis, George & Brown, Gregory W. & Klapper, Leora F., 2005. "Legal effectiveness and external capital : the role of foreign debt," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3530, The World Bank.
  9. Karl V. Lins & Francis E. Warnock, 2004. "Corporate governance and the shareholder base," International Finance Discussion Papers 816, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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