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Ultimate ownership structure and stock liquidity: empirical evidence from Tunisia


  • Ghabri Yosra
  • Olfa Ben Ouda Sioud


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study the ownership-liquidity relation in the context of the Tunisian Stock Exchange. Design/methodology/approach - In particular, the paper examines two empirical relationships: the relationship between ownership concentration and stock liquidity and the relationship between the separation of ownership from control and market liquidity. Findings - The empirical findings verify that the structure of ownership remains concentrated in the majority of the Tunisian firms. It is found that stock liquidity decreases significantly with concentrated ownership. Different devices are used to gain control and hence a significant separation of ownership from control affects liquidity in different ways. The results indicate that pyramidal structures have a significant negative impact on liquidity for all controlled firms. However, for family firms, non-voting shares increase liquidity for minority shareholders by reducing the probability of informed trading. Originality/value - Overall, this study reports that non-voting shares may be a liquidity enhancing device for family firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghabri Yosra & Olfa Ben Ouda Sioud, 2011. "Ultimate ownership structure and stock liquidity: empirical evidence from Tunisia," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 282-300, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:sefpps:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:282-300

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Acharya, Viral V. & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2005. "Asset pricing with liquidity risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 375-410, August.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
    3. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Heflin, Frank & Shaw, Kenneth W., 2000. "Blockholder Ownership and Market Liquidity," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 621-633, December.
    5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    6. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, April.
    8. Stijn Claessens & Simeon Djankov & Joseph P. H. Fan & Larry H. P. Lang, 2002. "Disentangling the Incentive and Entrenchment Effects of Large Shareholdings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2741-2771, December.
    9. Becht, Marco, 1999. "European corporate governance: Trading off liquidity against control," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1071-1083, April.
    10. Bhide, Amar, 1993. "The hidden costs of stock market liquidity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 31-51, August.
    11. Attig, Najah & Fong, Wai-Ming & Gadhoum, Yoser & Lang, Larry H.P., 2006. "Effects of large shareholding on information asymmetry and stock liquidity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 2875-2892, October.
    12. Kini, Omesh & Mian, Shehzad, 1995. "Bid-Ask Spread and Ownership Structure," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 18(4), pages 401-414, Winter.
    13. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
    15. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    16. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
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