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Ultimate ownership and control in Russia

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  • Chernykh, Lucy

Abstract

I investigate ultimate control and ownership patterns in Russian publicly traded companies. I show that these companies are controlled either by the state or by anonymous private owners. Federal and regional governments' control is exercised through extensive use of pyramids. Private owners widely exploit legal loopholes that allow them to mask their holdings and identities through nominee and foreign offshore arrangements. The comparison of formal and informal ownership disclosure reveals that the typical anonymous owners are insiders and that in virtually all cases the market participants "know" who the real owners are. Collectively, the evidence suggests that the legal weaknesses in disclosure requirements are important determinants of country-specific ownership and control structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Chernykh, Lucy, 2008. "Ultimate ownership and control in Russia," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 169-192, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:88:y:2008:i:1:p:169-192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Iwasaki, Ichiro, 2008. "The determinants of board composition in a transforming economy: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 532-549, December.
    2. Zhang, Min & M, Lijun & Zhang, Bo & Yi, Zhihong, 2016. "Pyramidal structure, political intervention and firms' tax burden: Evidence from China's local SOEs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 15-25.
    3. Muravyev, Alexander & Berezinets, Irina & Ilina, Yulia, 2014. "The structure of corporate boards and private benefits of control: Evidence from the Russian stock exchange," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 247-261.
    4. Carsten Sprenger & Olga Lazareva, 2017. "Corporate Governance and Investment: Evidence from Russian Unlisted Firms," HSE Working papers WP BRP 160/EC/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    5. Ichiro Iwasaki & Satoshi Mizobata & Alexander A. Muravyev, 2017. "Ownership Dynamics and Firm Performance in an Emerging Economy: A Meta-Analysis of the Russian Literature," KIER Working Papers 955 Classification-JD22, , Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Feng, Xunan & Hu, Na & Johansson, Anders C., 2016. "Ownership, analyst coverage, and stock synchronicity in China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 79-96.
    7. Chernykh, Lucy, 2011. "Profit or politics? Understanding renationalizations in Russia," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1237-1253.
    8. Sokolov, Vladimir & Solanko, Laura, 2016. "Political influence, firm performance and survival," BOFIT Discussion Papers 20/2016, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    9. Evžen Kočenda & Jan Hanousek, 2012. "State ownership and control in the Czech Republic," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 157-191, August.
    10. Alexeev, Michael & Weber, Shlomo (ed.), 2013. "The Oxford Handbook of the Russian Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199759927.
    11. Benjamin Maury & Eva Liljeblom, 2009. "Oligarchs, political regime changes, and firm valuation," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(3), pages 411-438, July.
    12. Sprenger, C., 2010. "State Ownership in the Russian Economy. Part 2. Governance Problems and Performance Effects," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 7, pages 90-110.
    13. Randall Morck, 2009. "The Riddle of the Great Pyramids," NBER Working Papers 14858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Pak, Olga & Kretzschmar, Gavin Lee, 2016. "Western sanctions—Only half the challenge to Russia’s economic union," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 577-592.
    15. Abramov, Alexander & Radygin, Alexander & Chernova, Maria, 2017. "State-owned enterprises in the Russian market: Ownership structure and their role in the economy," Russian Journal of Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-23.
    16. Muravyev, Alexander & Berezinets, Irina & Ilina, Yulia, 2012. "Корпоративные Конфликты И Политика Фирм В Области Занятости И Заработной Платы
      [Corporate Governance Conflicts and Employment and Wage Policies of Companies]
      ," MPRA Paper 40215, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Jan Hanousek & Evžen Kočenda, 2011. "Rozsah integrovaného státního vlastnictví a vliv firemní kontroly na výkonnost českých podniků
      [Extent of the Integrated State Ownership and Effect of the State Control on Performance of Czech Firm
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(1), pages 82-104.
    18. repec:zbw:iamost:85 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Gugler, Klaus & Ivanova, Natalia & Zechner, Josef, 2014. "Ownership and control in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 145-163.
    20. repec:gam:jjrfmx:v:11:y:2018:i:1:p:14-:d:136653 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Davydov, Denis & Nikkinen, Jussi & Vähämaa, Sami, 2014. "Does the decision to issue public debt affect firm valuation? Russian evidence," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 136-151.
    22. Andrea Goldstein, 2013. "The Political Economy of Global Business: the Case of the BRICs," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4(2), pages 162-172, May.
    23. Salla Pöyry & Benjamin Maury, 2010. "Influential ownership and capital structure," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(5), pages 311-324.

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