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The Korea discount and chaebols

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Abstract

Finance practitioners frequently claim that stocks of Korean firms are undervalued and trade at a discount relative to foreign firms. This phenomenon is commonly called «the Korea discount». It is based on anecdotal evidence comparing either the price-earnings ratios of different market indexes or those of different individual stocks. This paper provides empirical evidence on the existence of such a discount using a large sample of stocks from 28 countries over the period 2002-2016. We find that Korean stocks have significantly lower price-earnings ratios than their global peers. We also investigate the role of large business groups called chaebols, which are often considered to be the main cause of the discount because of their poor corporate governance. Our findings show that it is not the case.

Suggested Citation

  • Ducret, Romain & Isakov, Dusan, 2019. "The Korea discount and chaebols," FSES Working Papers 511, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fri:fribow:fribow00511
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    2. Deschênes, Sarah & Dumas, Christelle & Lambert, Sylvie, 2020. "Household resources and individual strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    3. Cho, Meeok & Kim, Sehee & Kim, Yewon & Lee, Bryan Byung-Hee & Lee, Woo-Jong, 2021. "IFRS adoption and stock misvaluation: Implication to Korea discount," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    valuation; price-earnings ratio; business groups; emerging markets; Korea.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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