Corporate governance investor protection and performance in emerging markets
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Corporate Governance, Investor Protection, and Performance in Emerging Markets. Leora F. Klapper Inessa Love The World Bank. PREVIOUS STUDY AND THE GAP. Prior studies focused on differences in legal systems across countries and legal families.

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Corporate governance investor protection and performance in emerging markets

Corporate Governance, Investor Protection, and Performance in Emerging Markets

Leora F. Klapper Inessa Love

The World Bank


Previous study and the gap
PREVIOUS STUDY AND THE GAP

  • Prior studies focused on differences in legal systems across countries and legal families.

  • La Porta, et al. (1998): the laws that protect investors differ significantly across countries, in part because of differences in legal origins

  • LLSV (1999a, 1999b, 2000), Claessens et al.(2000), Berkowitz et al. (2002), Lombardo & Pagano (2000), Beck et al. (2001): cross-country differences in laws and their enforcement affect ownership structure, dividend payout, availability and cost of external finance, and market valuations.


Previous study and the gap1
PREVIOUS STUDY AND THE GAP

  • However, it is likely that firms within the same country will offer varying degrees of protection to their investors

  • the gap : relationship between the country-level legal infrastructure and firm-level corporate governance mechanisms are left unexplained


Previous study and the gap2
PREVIOUS STUDY AND THE GAP

  • most of these studies concentrated on OECD and US countries

  • The gap : little evidence for firms in emerging markets


Study purpose provide empirical evidences on
STUDY PURPOSEProvide empirical evidences on:

  • the differences in firm-level governance mechanisms across firms in emerging markets.

  • the relationship between the country-level legal infrastructure and firm-level corporate governance mechanisms

  • whether firm-level differences in corporate governance matter for future performance and market valuation


DATA

  • The CLSA report : corporate governance (CG) rankings on 495 companies in 25 countries, based on analyst responses on cg questionnaire (Appendix 1)

  • cover seven broad categories: management discipline, transparency, independence, accountability, responsibility, fairness, and social awareness

  • 70% of the questions are based on objective facts and the remaining questions represent analysts’ opinions.

  • answer ‘Yes’ adds one point to the governance score.

  • The analysts were given strict instructions to answer negatively if they had any doubts


DATA

  • GOV : the sum of first six categories and excludes the social awareness category

  • CLSA data is merged with Worldscope data (June 2001), for firms that had available accounting data beginning in at least 1998.


Sample selection
SAMPLE SELECTION

  • 451 firms with non-missing accounting data

  • 50 banks excluded

  • 20 firms in Eastern Europe and China excluded because of unavailable legal indices

  • 7 firms in countries with less than three firms each (Argentina, Columbia, Greece and Mexico)

  • Final sample : 374 firms in 14 countries – Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

  • some outlier observations in the individual regressions are also excluded


Gov index descriptive statistics tabel i panel a
GOV index descriptive statistics (Tabel I Panel A)

sample is not equally distributed across countries:

68% in East Asia,

19% in South Asia

11% in Latin America

highlight the firm-level variations in corporate governance practices even within countries and families of legal origins


Measures of legal system
Measures of legal system

  • Judicial Efficiency :constructed by the International Country Risk Guide (2000).

  • Shareholder Rights : the sum of dummies identifying one-share/one-vote, proxy by mail, unblocked shares, cumulative vote/proportional representation, preemptive rights, oppressed minority, and percentage of shares needed to call a shareholders meeting (LLSV, 1998.)

  • Legality : an index of the strength of the legal system and institutional environment constructed as a weighted average of Judicial Efficiency (identical to our first index), Rule of Law, Corruption, Risk of Expropriation, and Risk of Contract Repudiation (this index is constructed using principal components analysis by Berkowitz, Pistor, and Richard, 2002.)


Measures of performance
Measures of performance

  • measure of market valuation of the firm :

    Tobin’s-Q : the market value of assets (calculated as book value of assets minus book value of equity plus market value of equity) over book value of assets

  • measure of operating performance :

    return on assets (ROA) : net income over total assets

  • Table 1, Panel B : Summary statistics and sample distributions for Tobin’s-Q and ROA


The distributions for tobin s q and roa table 1 panel b

reflecting the significant variation in performance across firms

The distributions for Tobin’s-Q and ROATable 1, Panel B

slightly higher then the median reported in other studies reflecting the overall good performance of the global economy in 1999


Determinants of governance
Determinants of Governance firms

  • Himmelberg, Hubbard, and Palia (1999): the degree of managerial ownership is endogenously determined by a firm’s contracting environment and therefore ownership-performance regressions could pick up the effect of this unobserved heterogeneity

  • as managerial ownership is only one of many governance mechanisms, this argument could be easily transferred to other mechanisms that are included in our governance index.

  • The most obvious causes for the variation in contracting environments is the overall country-level measure of shareholder rights and their enforcement.


Determinants of governance legal system
Determinants of Governance firmsLegal System

  • Hypothesis: a positive relationship between the quality of country-level legal systems and the average of firm-level governance indices within each country, because firms in countries with overall weak legal environments may not have much flexibility to improve their own investor protection and may consequently have lower corporate governance indices.


Determinants of governance legal system1
Determinants of Governance firmsLegal System

  • Hypothesis: a negative relationship between the quality of country-level legal systems and the average of firm-level governance indices within each country, if firms could completely “overwrite” the legal code in their own contracts as these firms would be more in “need” of good governance mechanisms to compensate for their bad legal systems


Determinants of governance proportion of fixed assets
Determinants of Governance firmsproportion of fixed assets

  • Himmelberg,et al.(1999, 2001): firm-level characteristics affect the level of investor protection (ex: the composition of a firm’s assets)

  • Firms with higher proportion of intangible assets will adopt stricter governance mechanisms to prevent misuse of these assets

  • negative correlation between the proportion of fixed assets and governance

  • Proxy for the relative importance of fixed capital in the firm’s output : K/S = Ratio of PPE to total sales


Determinants of governance growth opportunities
Determinants of Governance firmsgrowth opportunities

  • La Porta, et al. (1999a), Lombardo & Pagano (2000) and Himmelberg, Hubbard & Love (2001): relationship between investor protection and the cost of capital.

  • Firms with good growth opportunities will need to raise external financing

  • Better governance and better minority shareholder protection will be likely to lower their costs of capital.

  • proxy : SalesGR = real growth rate in sales for the last three years


Determinants of governance firm s size
Determinants of Governance firmsfirm’s size

  • large firms may have greater agency problems

  • small firms may have better growth opportunities and greater need for external finance and better governance mechanisms

  • Proxy for firm size : Log(SalesUS) = natural log of sales (in US$)


Determinants of governance trade in us
Determinants of Governance firmstrade in US

  • firms that trade in the US should have better corporate governance rankings:

    • firms listed on a US exchange are required to comply with US GAAP accounting standards, which might improve their transparency.

    • firms that list shares on a US exchange are subject to many SEC laws and regulations that protect minority shareholders.

    • Cofee (1999), Stulz (1999) and Reese and Wesibach (2001) : firms in countries with weak minority shareholder rights list in the US in order to better protect foreign investors.

  • Firms in emerging markets would be required to improve their corporate governance provisions in order to list overseas.

  • ADR(s), dummy= 1, if a firm trades American Depository Receipts (s).


Determinants of governance interaction of adr legal system
Determinants of Governance firmsinteraction of ADR & Legal System

  • relationship between ADR issuance and governance varies with differences in country-level investor protection and enforcement.

  • in a country with a weak legal system, a firm issuing ADRs would need to make more changes to its governance to be able to meet the more stringent disclosure and investor protection requirements.

  • the increase in the governance index for ADR firms will be larger in countries with weaker legal system

  • the interaction of ADR and Efficiency is expected to be negative.


Determinants of governance legal system2
Determinants of Governance firmsLegal System

  • Three different country-level indicators for the Legal System:

    • the laws on the book (Shareholder Rights)

    • the effectiveness of their implementation (Efficiency)

    • the overall legal environment (Legality)

  • Since Efficiency and Legality measures are both indicators of the quality of legal enforcement, they are not included together

  • shareholder rights is included in combinations with either Efficiency or Legality


Determinants of governance1
Determinants of Governance firms

Expectation:

  • b1 is ambiguous.

  • b2 >0,

  • b3<0,

  • b4>0,

  • b5>0,

  • b6<0,


Determinants of Governance firmsrelationship between the distribution of firm-level governance and country-level indicators

wide variation in the governance rankings in most countries.

It does not appear to be systematically related to the country-level measures of legal effectiveness


Determinants of Governance firmsa plot of country-average values of the firm-level governance index plotted against the legality index

Strong positive relationship indicates that countries with better legal systems have on average higher firm-level governance


Determinants of governance table 1 panel c

Significantly positive firms

Insignificantly negative

Determinants of GovernanceTable 1 Panel C

Confirm previous evidence: more variation in firm-level governance in countries with weaker legal systems.


Table 2

+ ADR firms

Dummy

Firm level

Variable only

Country level Variable

Only (Legal System)

Table 2

Conclusion: firms in countries with weak overall legal system have on average lower governance rankings


Table 21

Both Firm level and firms

Country Level Variable

Table 2

firms that issue ADRs have better governance, and the effect is stronger in countries with weak legal systems


Table 22
Table 2 firms

unobserved country effects account for large differences in the variation in governance rank ings. However, over 60% of this variation is not explained by country effects, suggesting that firms have enough flexibility to affect their corporate governance and investor protection.


Result summary tabel 1 2
RESULT SUMMARY (Tabel 1 & 2) firms

  • firms in countries with weak overall legal systems on average have lower cg rankings, however there is no systematic relationship between the variation in firm-level rankings and country-level legal efficiency;

  • past growth rates are positively associated with good cg

  • firms with higher proportions of fixed assets have lower cg

  • firms that trade shares in the US have higher governance rankings, especially so in countries with weak legal systems.

    Confirm the endogeneity of governance, emphasize the importance to control for these factors in the performance regressions to ensure that the governance effect on performance is not spuriously caused by any of these omitted factors.


Governance and performance
Governance and Performance firms

  • Qf = Tobin’s-Q

  • Govf = firm-level cg ranking

  • Robustness test: sequentally add industry dummies, country dummies, and firm level control variables

  • Repeat using ROA as dependent variable


Table 3 panel a tobin s q as dependent variable

stronger firms

Table 3Panel A : Tobin’s-Q as dependent variable

firms with better cg have higher market valuation

relative governance is more important than the absolute value of the index:

1 sd change in gov result in 23% increase in Tobin’s Q


Table 3 panel a cont
Table 3 firmsPanel A (cont’)

  • governance is robust to the inclusion of firm-level variables

  • the relationship is not spuriously caused by any of the omitted

  • variables


Table 3 panel b roa as dependent variable
Table 3 firmsPanel B : ROA as dependent variable

consistent with Gompers et al. (2001): firms with weaker cg have relatively lower profits in the US

This study:

relationship between corporate governance and firm performance holds across several emerging markets


Legal environment and performance
Legal Environment and Performance firms

Govf = firm-level corporate governance ranking as control variable

Effc = country-level judicial efficiency

(Govf*Effc)f= interaction to identify whether corporate governance matters more

or less in countries with weak legal

enforcement


Table 4 tobin s q
Table 4: firmsTobin’s-Q

even though cg measure is significantly correlated with country-level legal indicators, firm-specific governance measures are of greater importance than the constraints of country-level laws in determining market valuation


Table 4 tobin s q1
Table 4: firmsTobin’s-Q

Negative interaction:

  • governance is more important in countries with overall weak legal systems

  • legal system matters less for the well-governed firms

Latin American sample (Chile and Brazil) are different from the rest of the sample (lowest mean and median Q, relatively low ROA), however they have relatively strong cg indicators and country-level indices of investor protection.


Table 5 roa
Table 5: firmsROA

strong correlation between gc and ROA

weaker results of Shareholder Rights :

  • could reflect the smaller variation within this variables

  • the possible weaker importance of actual laws relative to their implementation


Result summary tabel 4 5
RESULT SUMMARY (Tabel 4-5) firms

  • firm-level investor protection is more important for firm valuation in countries with weaker investor protection from the courts.

  • In terms of magnitude, a one standard deviation improvement in cg increases Q by 33% of its standard deviation if the Efficiency score is 5, and improves Q by 18% of its standard deviation if the Efficiency score is 8.

  • Although an improvement in firm-level cg always improves performance and market valuation, the improvements are higher in countries with weaker legal and judicial infrastructures.


Conclusion
CONCLUSION firms

  • firms in countries with weak overall legal systems have on average lower cg rankings,

  • firm-level cg is correlated with variables related to the extent of the asymmetric information and contracting imperfections that firms face, which we proxy with firm size, sales growth and intangibility of assets,

  • firms traded in US have higher cg rankings, especially so in countries with weak legal systems

  • good cg is positively correlated with market valuation and operating performance,

  • this relationship is stronger in countries with weaker legal systems.


Interpretation
INTERPRETATION firms

  • firm-level cg matters more in countries with weak shareholder protection and poor judicial efficiency, or

  • the legal system matters less for the well-governed firms, which is plausible because firms with better cg will have less need to rely on the legal system to resolve governance conflicts.

  • firms in countries with poor investor protection can improve their cg, which may improve their performance and valuation.

  • firms have on average significantly lower cg rankings in countries with weak legal systems, which suggests that firms cannot completely compensate for the absence of strong laws and good enforcement.


Implication
IMPLICATION firms

  • Although the task of reforming investor protection laws and improving judicial quality is difficult, lengthy, and requires the protections to minority shareholders.

  • support of politicians and other interest groups, improving cg on a firm-level is a feasible goal.

  • Our results suggest that even prior to legal and judicial reform, firms can still reduce their cost of capital by establishing credible investor protection provisions. Our paper proposes that firms in countries with poor investor protection can use provisions in their charters to improve their corporate governance, which may improve their performance and valuation. However, the task of reforming the legal systems should remain a priority on the policymaker’s agenda.


Study limitation
STUDY LIMITATION firms

  • the link between governance and performance is the likely endogeneity of corporate governance practices.

  • Ex: growing firm large needs for outside financing more incentive to adopt better governance practices in order to lower its cost of capital.

  • growth opportunities would be reflected in the firm’s market valuation, inducing a positive correlation with Tobin’s-Q


Study limitation1
STUDY LIMITATION firms

  • to mitigate the problem : inclusion of several control variables that could proxy for growth opportunities. It’s confirmed that the results are not caused by omitted variable bias

  • Recognizing the endogeneity of the governance, we can only interpret all our results as partial correlations

  • leave establishment of causality for further research


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