IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Financial and Operating Performance of China's Newly Privatized Firms


  • Zuobao Wei
  • Oscar Varela
  • Juliet D'Souza
  • M. Kabir Hassan


This study examines the pre- and post-privatization financial and operating performance of 208 firms privatized in China during the period 1990-97. The full sample results show significant improvements in real output, real assets, and sales efficiency, and significant declines in leverage following privatization, but no significant change in profitability. Further analysis shows that privatized firms experience significant improvements in profitability compared to fully state- owned enterprises during the same period. Firms in which more than 50% voting control is conveyed to private investors via privatization experience significantly greater improvements in profitability, employment, and sales efficiency compared to those that remain under the state’s control. Privatization seems to work in China, especially the more private firms become.

Suggested Citation

  • Zuobao Wei & Oscar Varela & Juliet D'Souza & M. Kabir Hassan, 2003. "The Financial and Operating Performance of China's Newly Privatized Firms," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 32(2), Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:fma:fmanag:weietal03

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-465, June.
    2. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    4. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1993. "Movements in the Equity Premium," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 75-138.
    5. Schall, Lawrence D & Sundem, Gary L & Geijsbeek, William R, Jr, 1978. "Survey and Analysis of Capital Budgeting Methods," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 281-287, March.
    6. Narayanan, M P, 1985. "Observability and the Payback Criterion," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3), pages 309-323, July.
    7. Kothari, S P & Shanken, Jay & Sloan, Richard G, 1995. " Another Look at the Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 185-224, March.
    8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    9. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-746, August.
    10. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
    11. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
    12. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    13. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-592, July.
    14. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-636, May-June.
    15. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1996. " The Capital Budgeting Process: Incentives and Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1139-1174, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:glofin:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:27-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ram Mohan, T. T., 2004. "Privatisation in China: softly, softly does it," IIMA Working Papers WP2004-09-04, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    3. Jorge Pinilla & Joaquim Vergés, 2007. "Efectos De La Privatización En La Eficiencia De Iberia Líneas Aéreas De España S.A," Revista Economía y Administración, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Universidad de Concepción, vol. 69, pages 7-38, December.
    4. Lihui Tian & Saul Estrin, 2005. "Retained State Shareholding in Chinese PLCs: Does Government Ownership Reduce Corporate Value?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp750, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    5. Wolf, C. & Pollitt, M.G., 2008. "Privatising national oil companies: Assessing the impact on firm performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0811, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Tian, Lihui & Estrin, Saul, 2008. "Retained state shareholding in Chinese PLCs: Does government ownership always reduce corporate value?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 74-89, March.
    7. D'Souza, Juliet & Megginson, William L. & Ullah, Barkat & Wei, Zuobao, 2017. "Growth and growth obstacles in transition economies: Privatized versus de novo private firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 422-438.
    8. Thi QuyVo & Duc Khuong Nguyen & Fredric WilliamSwierczek, 2014. "Corporate performance of privatized firms in Vietnam," Working Papers 2014-240, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    9. 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.
    10. Chan, Kam C. & Fung, Hung-Gay & Thapa, Samanta, 2007. "China financial research: A review and synthesis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 416-428.
    11. Henk Berkman & Rebel A. Cole & Lawrence J. Fu, 2014. "Improving corporate governance where the State is the controlling block holder: evidence from China," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7-9), pages 752-777, September.
    12. Chen, Gongmeng & Firth, Michael & Rui, Oliver, 2006. "Have China's enterprise reforms led to improved efficiency and profitability?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 82-109, March.
    13. Vergés, Joaquim, 2014. "RESULTADOS y consecuencias DE LAS PRIVATIZACIONES de Empresas Públicas: Una perspectiva internacional
      ," MPRA Paper 62655, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 05 Mar 2015.
    14. Cabeza Garcia, Laura & Gomez Anson, Silvia, 2007. "The Spanish privatisation process: Implications on the performance of divested firms," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 390-409.
    15. Chung, Shifei & Wei, Peihwang, 2005. "The relationship between bid-ask spreads and holding periods: The case of Chinese A and B shares," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 239-249, February.
    16. Ghulam, Yaseen & Jaffry, Shabbar, 2015. "Efficiency and productivity of the cement industry: Pakistani experience of deregulation and privatisation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 101-115.
    17. Rousseau, Peter L. & Xiao, Sheng, 2008. "Change of control and the success of China's share-issue privatization," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 605-613, December.
    18. Ang, James S. & Ding, David K., 2006. "Government ownership and the performance of government-linked companies: The case of Singapore," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 64-88, February.
    19. 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.
    20. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Ge, Ying & Qiu, Jiaping, 2005. "Can corporatization improve the performance of state-owned enterprises even without privatization?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 791-808, October.
    21. Guoqian Tu & Frank Yu, 2015. "Tunneling or Not? The Change of Legal Environment on the Effect of Post-Privatization Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 129(2), pages 491-510, June.
    22. Wan, Jiayong & Yuce, Ayse, 2007. "Listing regulations in China and their effect on the performance of IPOs and SOEs," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 366-378, September.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fma:fmanag:weietal03. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Courtney Connors). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.