IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Board attributes and foreign shareholdings in Malaysian listed firms


  • Puan Yatim


  • Takiah Iskandar


  • Elsie Nga



This study examines the association between foreign shareholdings and several characteristics of board of directors in the context of a developing capital market. Using data of 777 listed firms on Bursa Malaysia for the financial year 2008, the study predicts that foreign shareholdings are positively related to board independence, multiple directorships, and financial literacy of the board of directors. The study finds a strong positive relationship between multiple directorships and foreign shareholdings. Contrary to our expectation, the association between board financial literacy and foreign shareholdings is negative and significant. With regard to the link between board independence and foreign shareholdings, we find weak evidence to support our prediction that there is positive relationship between board independence and foreign shareholdings. The multivariate results also show strong positive relationships between foreign shareholdings and number of foreign directors on boards, and between foreign shareholdings and audit quality. The study also documents a significant negative association between foreign shareholdings and firm size, and between foreign shareholdings and book-to-market ratio. The findings of the study supports the view that multiple directorships is an important asset to firms in emerging markets partly due to limited pool of potential talents and experts which in turn could signal reputational capital and quality of directors. Since there is a mandated presence of finance and accounting qualified director on the audit committee, foreign shareholders can somewhat rely on the oversight of audit committee instead of depending entirely on the board of directors for the quality of financial statements and financial reporting oversight. Finally, the presence of foreign directors on a board of directors may signal a firm’s commitment to adopt good corporate governance practices. It is also possible that foreign investors can influence corporate governance through their participation on the board of directors. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Puan Yatim & Takiah Iskandar & Elsie Nga, 2016. "Board attributes and foreign shareholdings in Malaysian listed firms," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(1), pages 147-178, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:20:y:2016:i:1:p:147-178
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-014-9301-1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    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:kap:jmgtgv:v:20:y:2016:i:1:p:147-178. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). 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.