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Large powerful shareholders and cash holding

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  • Ron Anderson

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  • Malika Hamadi

Abstract

We study the relationship between liquid asset holding and the pattern of share ownership and control structures within the firm. We explore these issues using a data set of Belgian firms that is particularly well suited to studying the institutions of control oriented finance. The data include information on ownership concentration, voting alliances, managerial ownership, membership in family groups, institutional cross-share holdings, and coordination centers which under Belgian law permit consolidation of earnings and cash flow for a group of firms. We show that financial structures in Belgiumare strongly control oriented as evidenced by the very high levels of observed ownership concentration and the prevalence of pyramids, voting alliances, and participation in family groups. We find that the level of liquid asset holding is positively associated with ownership concentration and that this effect is particularly marked for family firms. Given the difficulties of family firms in achieving effective wealth diversificationwe interpret these results as indicating liquid asset holding is largely motivated by risk aversion. Cash holding is negatively associated with institutional cross share holdings, suggesting that these cross holdings facilitate an effective internal capital market. We find little evidence that managers have an independent influence on cash holdings.

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Anderson & Malika Hamadi, 2009. "Large powerful shareholders and cash holding," FMG Discussion Papers dp631, Financial Markets Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp631
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    Cited by:

    1. Rashid Ameer, 2012. "Impact of cash holdings and ownership concentration on firm valuation: Empirical evidence from Australia," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(4), pages 448-467, October.
    2. Orens, Raf & Reheul, Anne-Mie, 2011. "Do CEO Demographics Explain Cash Holdings in SMEs?," Working Papers 2011/35, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.

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