Ownership Dynamics after Partial Privatization: Evidence from China
This paper studies ownership dynamics in 221 Chinese state-owned enterprises that were partially privatized via the Shanghai Stock Exchange. We build probit models to investigate the further decline in government ownership after listing. We differentiate between share issuance, where state ownership is diluted as a result of rights issues and seasoned equity offerings, and government divestment. We find evidence that share issuance results in the dilution of state ownership in the highly profitable and leveraged firms that rely more on subsidies, while assets growth has a negative effect. The issuance decision is timed to occur when stock market conditions are favorable. Chinese authorities tend to sell part of their shares in the smaller and unprofitable firms reporting higher sales growth. Variables capturing the size of managerial incentive problems do not play an incremental role after controlling for firm performance. Finally, the divestment decision is not affected by windows of opportunity.
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