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Political connection and cost of debt: Some Malaysian evidence

  • Bliss, Mark A.
  • Gul, Ferdinand A.

This paper investigates the association between Malaysian politically connected (PCON) firms and the cost of debt. We extend previous research that finds Malaysian PCON firms are perceived as being of higher risk by the market, and by audit firms, by providing evidence that lenders also perceive these firms as being of higher risk. We also find that PCON firms have a significantly (1) higher extent of leverage, (2) higher likelihood of reporting a loss, (3) higher likelihood of having negative equity, and (4) higher likelihood of being audited by a big audit firm. We suggest that PCON firms are charged higher interest rates by lenders as a result of efficient contracting given their higher inherent risks. Additionally, we find that CEO duality present in PCON firms is perceived by lenders as being more risky, and that a higher proportion of independent directors on the audit committee mitigate this perceived risk.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1520-1527

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:5:p:1520-1527
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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  1. Lee, Janet, 2009. "Executive performance-based remuneration, performance change and board structures," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 138-162, June.
  2. Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2001. "Cronyism and Capital Controls: Evidence from Malaysia," NBER Working Papers 8521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ferdinand A. Gul, 2006. "Auditors' Response to Political Connections and Cronyism in Malaysia," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(5), pages 931-963, December.
  4. Kim, Kong-Hee & Al-Shammari, Hussam A. & Kim, Bongjin & Lee, Seung-Hyun, 2009. "CEO duality leadership and corporate diversification behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 1173-1180, November.
  5. Fraser, Donald R. & Zhang, Hao & Derashid, Chek, 2006. "Capital structure and political patronage: The case of Malaysia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1291-1308, April.
  6. Qiu, Jiaping & Yu, Fan, 2009. "The market for corporate control and the cost of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 505-524, September.
  7. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  8. Larry H. P. Lang & Mara Faccio & Leslie Young, 2001. "Dividends and Expropriation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 54-78, March.
  9. Pittman, Jeffrey A. & Fortin, Steve, 2004. "Auditor choice and the cost of debt capital for newly public firms," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 113-136, February.
  10. Douglas W. Diamond, 1998. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 602, David K. Levine.
  11. Goyal, Vidhan K. & Park, Chul W., 2002. "Board leadership structure and CEO turnover," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 49-66, January.
  12. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  13. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
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