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Firm value and its relation to equity retention levels, forecast earnings disclosures and underpricing in initial public offerings in Hong Kong

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  • Keasey, Kevin
  • McGuinness, Paul B.

Abstract

This study helps extend our understanding of the factors underlying the valuation of initial public offering (IPO) firms within the Hong Kong market context. The issues investigated are all the more important given Hong Kong's unique position in China, where free and unfettered capital markets entice global institutions wishing to partake in the 'China investment story'. We find support for three signals of initial firm value: the fraction of equity retained by pre-listing stakeholders [Leland, H., & Pyle, D. (1977). Information asymmetries, financial structure and financial intermediation. Journal of Finance, 32, 371-387], the voluntary disclosure of a prospectus earnings forecast [Trueman, B. (1986). Why do managers voluntarily release earnings forecasts. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 53-71] and the amount of funds 'given-up' through IPO underpricing [see Allen, F., & Faulhaber, G. R. (1989). Signalling by underpricing in the IPO market. Journal of Financial Economics, 23, 303-323; Grinblatt, M., & Hwang, C. Y. (1989). Signalling and the pricing of new issues. Journal of Finance, 44, 393-420; Welch, I. (1989). Seasoned offerings, imitation costs, and the underpricing of initial public offerings. Journal of Finance, 44, 421-449]. Moreover, the signals appear robust to different firm valuation measures (i.e., market-to-book and Tobin's Q) and to the inclusion/exclusion of PRC state-owned H-share issuers. A number of other important contributions also emerge. First, we develop a new measurement form for the pre-listing shareholders' equity retention level ([alpha]) by decomposing it to reflect differential effects from primary and ('voluntary' and 'involuntary') secondary offers. We further show that after accounting for listing rule effects--which partially drive the choice of the retained equity level in the Hong Kong setting--the equity retention-firm value relation is seen with much greater clarity. In a later stage of analysis we deepen the signal-firm value findings by relating the three signals to post-IPO earnings. We note a positive association between the fraction of equity retained by pre-listing owners and earnings growth. However, this association weakens somewhat beyond the first two accounting year-ends post-listing. Significantly, earnings appreciation appears markedly weaker for issuers going to market with a secondary offer component within their overall IPO. Finally, consistent with Jain and Kini's [1994. The post-operating performance of IPO firms. Journal of Finance, 49(5), 1699-1726] US evidence, IPO underpricing appears to have little or no association with post-listing earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Keasey, Kevin & McGuinness, Paul B., 2008. "Firm value and its relation to equity retention levels, forecast earnings disclosures and underpricing in initial public offerings in Hong Kong," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 642-662, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:17:y:2008:i:6:p:642-662
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:jocaae:v:10:y:2014:i:3:p:161-175 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Paul B. McGuinness, 2016. "Post-IPO performance and its association with subscription cascades and issuers’ strategic-political importance," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 291-333, February.
    3. Guillamon-Saorin, Encarna & Sousa, Carlos M.P., 2010. "Press release disclosures in Spain and the UK," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-15, February.
    4. McGuinness, Paul B., 2014. "IPO firm value and its connection with cornerstone and wider signalling effects," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 138-162.

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