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Institutional ownership and credit spreads: An information asymmetry perspective

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  • Wang, Ashley W.
  • Zhang, Gaiyan

Abstract

Recent literature has documented a link between institutional equity ownership (IO) and cost of debt capital, and interpreted it as a corporate governance effect. However, institutional equity investors may also affect cost of debt through their influence on information asymmetry condition of firms. To distinguish between the two effects, we break down institutional investors into different groups: transient institutional investors (TRA who are sensitive to information asymmetry but unlikely to participate in corporate governance, and the dedicated ones (DED) who act oppositely. Based on a most up-to-date and comprehensive bond data spanning the past 20Â years, we find that credit spreads narrow (widen) with an increase in equity ownership by TRA (DED). The effects are most prominent among short-term bonds, bonds with lower ratings, higher leverage and higher volatilities. The results persist after controlling for potential endogeneity and other information asymmetry measures, and are unlikely due to an asset substitution effect. Overall, our findings provide strong support for the effect of information asymmetry on credit spread, and highlight the importance of distinguishing various types of institutional investors.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Ashley W. & Zhang, Gaiyan, 2009. "Institutional ownership and credit spreads: An information asymmetry perspective," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 597-612, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:16:y:2009:i:4:p:597-612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Tsung-Kang & Liao, Hsien-Hsing & Chen, Wei-Lun, 2014. "Production efficiency uncertainty and corporate credit risk: Structural form credit model perspectives," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, pages 266-280.
    2. Perko, Igor, 2017. "Behaviour-based short-term invoice probability of default evaluation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 257(3), pages 1045-1054.
    3. Javeria Farooqi & Surendranath Jory & Thanh Ngo, 2017. "Institutional investors’ activism and credit ratings," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 41(1), pages 51-77, January.
    4. Lu, Chia-Wu & Chen, Tsung-Kang & Liao, Hsien-Hsing, 2010. "Information uncertainty, information asymmetry and corporate bond yield spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2265-2279, September.
    5. Zhang, Gaiyan & Zhang, Sanjian, 2013. "Information efficiency of the U.S. credit default swap market: Evidence from earnings surprises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, pages 720-730.
    6. repec:eee:finsta:v:29:y:2017:i:c:p:57-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tsung-Kang Chen & Hsien-Hsing Liao & Hsiao-Chun Huang, 2014. "Macroeconomic risks of supply chain counterparties and corporate bond yield spreads," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 463-481, October.
    8. Anderson, Christopher W. & Huang, Jian, 2017. "Institutional investment in IPOs and post-IPO M&A activity," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, pages 1-18.
    9. Guifeng Shi & Jianfei Sun, 2015. "Corporate Bond Covenants and Social Responsibility Investment," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 285-303.
    10. Mohamed Abulgasem A. Elhaj & Nurul Aini Muhamed & Nathasa Mazna Ramli & Nor Balkish Zakaria, 2016. "Ownership Monitoring Mechanism over Sukuk Credit Rating," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(12), pages 700-720, December.
    11. An, Heng & Zhang, Ting, 2013. "Stock price synchronicity, crash risk, and institutional investors," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 1-15.

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