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Dividends for tunneling in a regulated economy: The case of China

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Listed:
  • Chen, Donghua
  • Jian, Ming
  • Xu, Ming

Abstract

Some Chinese listed companies pay out high dividends, despite the weak legal and institutional pressure on them to mitigate agency problems by paying dividends. We conjecture that such a phenomenon is caused by the differential pricing for tradable and non-tradable shares during the IPO of these listed companies. Such companies might use high-dividend payments to divert proceeds from an IPO or rights issue to controlling shareholders' pockets. The empirical results support our hypotheses, showing that companies with more differential pricing in the IPO, a recent IPO or rights issue, or more concentrated ownership tend to pay more dividends. Similarly, companies that are ultimately owned by the government tend to pay more dividends. Furthermore, a dividend increase accompanied by large IPO price discounts, a recent-year rights issue, an ROE qualified for rights issue, or great dividend variation is associated with more negative stock returns than other types of dividend increases. These findings indicate that dividends are not used purely for signaling or distributing free cash flows in China. Instead, dividends might be used by the controlling shareholders to engage in tunneling.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Donghua & Jian, Ming & Xu, Ming, 2009. "Dividends for tunneling in a regulated economy: The case of China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 209-223, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pacfin:v:17:y:2009:i:2:p:209-223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Deng, Lu & Li, Sifei & Liao, Mingqing, 2017. "Dividends and earnings quality: Evidence from China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 255-268.
    2. Peng, Fei & Kang, Lili & Jiang, Jun, 2011. "Selection and institutional shareholder activism in Chinese acquisitions," MPRA Paper 38701, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lin, Tsui-Jung & Chen, Yi-Pei & Tsai, Han-Fang, 2017. "The relationship among information asymmetry, dividend policy and ownership structure," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 1-12.
    4. Firth, Michael & Gao, Jin & Shen, Jianghua & Zhang, Yuanyuan, 2016. "Institutional stock ownership and firms’ cash dividend policies: Evidence from China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 91-107.
    5. repec:vul:omefvu:v:8:y:2017:i:1:id:218 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cheung, William & Lam, Keith S.K. & Tam, Lewis H.K., 2012. "Blockholding and market reactions to equity offerings in China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, pages 459-482.
    7. repec:eee:reveco:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:370-385 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Chin-Sheng Huang & Chun-Fan You & Hueh-Chen Lin, 2014. "Dividend-Yield Trading Strategies: Evidence from the Chinese Stock Market," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 4(2), pages 382-399.
    9. Liao, Jing & Malone, Chris & Young, Martin, 2016. "Politicians, insiders and non-tradable share reform decisions in China," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 58-73.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:eee:iburev:v:26:y:2017:i:5:p:816-827 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Paul McGuinness & Kevin Lam & João Vieito, 2015. "Gender and other major board characteristics in China: Explaining corporate dividend policy and governance," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, pages 989-1038.
    13. Xiao, Gang, 2015. "Trading and earnings management: Evidence from China's non-tradable share reform," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 67-90.
    14. Bradford, William & Chen, Chao & Zhu, Song, 2013. "Cash dividend policy, corporate pyramids, and ownership structure: Evidence from China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 445-464.
    15. Ng, Alex & Yuce, Ayse & Chen, Eason, 2009. "Determinants of state equity ownership, and its effect on value/performance: China's privatized firms," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 413-443, September.
    16. Bartram, Söhnke M. & Brown, Philip & How, Janice C.Y. & Verhoeven, Peter, 2007. "Agency Conflicts and Corporate Payout Policies: A Global Study," MPRA Paper 23244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Peng, Fei & Kang, Lili & Yang, Xiaocong, 2014. "Institutional Monitoring, Coordination and Acquisition Decision in Chinese Public Listed Companies," MPRA Paper 63746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Shan, Yuan George, 2015. "Value relevance, earnings management and corporate governance in China," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 186-207.
    19. Pan, Xiaofei & Tian, Gary Gang, 2016. "Family control and loan collateral: Evidence from China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 53-68.

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