Return spread and liquidity: Evidence from Hong Kong ADRs
Fifteen Chinese H-shares listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong are cross listed as ADRs on the NYSE. We empirically determine the role of security specific liquidity associated with those ADRs and their underlying H-shares on return spreads, differences between the returns on ADRs and their corresponding H-shares after controlling for ADRs and H-shares excess market returns and their respective price inverses denoting conditional betas. We use three proxies for liquidity, trading volume, turnover, and illiquidity (Amihud, 2002) and find that only trading volume and turnover are consistent determinants of return spread for the majority of Chinese ADRs with primary listing in Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK). We use a switching regression model and find that the model parameter estimates are not stationary and change, often drastically between pre and post 2000 and 2003. Further tests using Bai Perron indicate return spreads data as non-stationary with multiple regime changes during the sample period. Further the causes of non-stationarity seem to be largely security specific and not driven by broad market swings in either market.
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