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Doing battle with short sellers: The conflicted role of blockholders in bear raids

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  • Khanna, Naveen
  • Mathews, Richmond D.

Abstract

If short sellers can destroy firm value by manipulating prices down, an informed blockholder has a powerful natural incentive to protect the value of his stake by trading against them. However, he also has a potentially conflicting incentive to use his information to generate trading profits. We show that a speculator can exploit this conflict and force the blockholder to buy a disproportionately large amount to prevent value destruction. This is costly for the blockholder because the trades must sometimes be executed at inflated prices. Given reasonable constraints on short sellers, a sufficiently large blockholder will have the incentive to absorb these losses and prevent a bear raid. However, conditions exist under which outside intervention may be warranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Khanna, Naveen & Mathews, Richmond D., 2012. "Doing battle with short sellers: The conflicted role of blockholders in bear raids," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 229-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:106:y:2012:i:2:p:229-246
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2012.06.006
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    Cited by:

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    2. Amelia Pais & Philip A. Stork, 2013. "Short-Selling, Leverage and Systemic Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-186/IV/DSF68, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Appel, Ian & Bulka, Jordan & Fos, Vyacheslav, 2019. "Active Short Selling by Hedge Funds," CEPR Discussion Papers 13788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Luo, Jinbo & Ni, Xiaoran & Tian, Gary Gang, 2020. "Short selling and corporate tax avoidance: Insights from a financial constraint view," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    5. Ni, Xiaoran & Yin, Sirui, 2020. "The unintended real effects of short selling in an emerging market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    6. Xia Chen & Qiang Cheng & Ting Luo & Heng Yue, 2020. "Short Sellers and Long‐Run Management Forecasts," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(2), pages 802-828, June.
    7. Alex Edmans, 2014. "Blockholders and Corporate Governance," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 23-50, December.
    8. Hui Ding & Xiaoran Ni & Hongmei Xu, 2021. "Short selling and labor investment efficiency: evidence from the Chinese stock market," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(S1), pages 2451-2476, April.
    9. Toni Ahnert & Caio Machado & Ana Elisa Pereira, 2020. "Trading for Bailouts," Staff Working Papers 20-23, Bank of Canada.
    10. Edmans, Alex & Holderness, Clifford, 2016. "Blockholders: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11442, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Speculation; Short selling; Regulation; Manipulation; Bear raids;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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