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Corporate governance and dividend policy: A comparison of Chinese firms listed in Hong Kong and in the Mainland

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  • Zhang, Haiyan

Abstract

This study compares the cash dividend policy of Chinese firms listed in Hong Kong and on the Mainland. It shows that, in both groups, firms that have higher managerial membership on the board tend to pay lower cash dividends. The relation is stronger in Mainland-listed firms, indicating that managers' influence on the board creates more serious agency problems. This study further shows that ownership concentration of Mainland-listed firms tends to weaken the association between managerial membership on the board and lower cash dividends, suggesting that concentrated ownership in the Mainland reduces the agency cost. Finally, this study shows that there is a price premium attaching to dividend payout of HK-listed Chinese firms, but there is no such premium in the Mainland market. Further, the same dividend premium is also observed in local firms listed in Hong Kong. Taken together, this study indicates that the pricing mechanism of Hong Kong's equity market appears to encourage managers of HK-listed firms to pay dividends. The same mechanism is not found to exist in the Mainland market. This difference helps to explain the finding that the controlling shareholders of HK-listed firms take a less active role in dividend policy than those of their peers on the Mainland. Thus, Hong Kong's equity market seems to provide a mechanism that can be used by Chinese firms listed there.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Haiyan, 2008. "Corporate governance and dividend policy: A comparison of Chinese firms listed in Hong Kong and in the Mainland," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 437-459, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:19:y:2008:i:3:p:437-459
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    Cited by:

    1. Jianan Guo, 2016. "Ultimate Controlling Shareholders and Dividend Payout Policy in Chinese Stock Market," Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies (RPBFMP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(02), pages 1-35, June.
    2. repec:eee:iburev:v:26:y:2017:i:5:p:816-827 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dennis Tao Yang, 2012. "Aggregate Savings and External Imbalances in China," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 125-146, Fall.
    4. Gehan A. Mousa, 2014. "The Association between Accounting Conservatism and Cash Dividends: Evidence from Emerging Markets," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 4(4), pages 210-220, October.
    5. Paul McGuinness & Kevin Lam & João Vieito, 2015. "Gender and other major board characteristics in China: Explaining corporate dividend policy and governance," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 989-1038, December.
    6. Jiang, Zhan & Kim, Kenneth A., 2013. "Financial management in China," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 125-133.

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