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What Role Taxes and Regulation? A Second Look at Open Market Share Buyback Activity in the UK

  • Dennis Oswald
  • Steven Young
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    This paper re-examines the evidence on open market share repurchase activity reported by Rau and Vermaelen (2002) for the UK. Using data from the Securities Data Corporation (SDC), Rau and Vermaelen conclude that the level of repurchase activity is trivial. They attribute the low repurchase volume to regulatory restrictions that limit companies' ability to take advantage of an undervalued stock price and conclude that the bulk of repurchase activity that does occur is driven by the desire to generate tax credits for pension funds. Using data collected from a variety of sources, we find that the SDC substantially understates UK open market buyback activity. Based on our more comprehensive dataset we conclude that (a) pension funds' tax considerations are not the primary cause of UK share repurchases and (b) despite the prevailing regulatory environment, underpricing still represents an important determinant of repurchase activity. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2004.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2004-01)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
    Pages: 257-292

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:31:y:2004-01:i:1-2:p:257-292
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