Prior to the 2007–2009 financial crisis, international banks had an average share of around 65% of the syndicated loan market in Australia. When the crisis hit, the resulting liquidity shock resulted in globally active international banks exiting the Australian market. With limited global operations, the major Australian banks were able to absorb and manage the liquidity shock. This resulted in domestic banks carrying a significantly greater proportion of revolving credit facilities in their syndicated loan portfolios after 2008. Domestic bank willingness and ability to deal with the market disruption and to hold a greater proportion of high liquidity risk revolvers are directly linked to the level of their transaction deposits. Their increased involvement in revolving facilities cannot be fully explained by the certification effect or flight-to-home effect. It is not demand driven and is robust to endogeneity tests.
In this study, we show that the option-like structure of equity-based compensation encourages managerial risk-taking and provide new evidence on the way in which CEO’s risk-taking could manifest itself in a multi-segment firm. Our results show that a greater sensitivity of managerial compensation to shareholder wealth—as proxied by CEO’s portfolio vega—leads to greater risk-taking through active capital allocation. We then analyze the impact of risk-taking on shareholder wealth and demonstrate that risk-taking is positively associated with future stock returns. Overall, this article contributes to the literature by providing evidence that equity-based compensation does actually promote the alignment of interests between shareholders and managers.
This article examines the relation between gender diversity and earnings quality for Australian firms from 2005 to 2013. We draw on the work of Kanter, highlighting the importance of the proportion of women on the board when measuring diversity. We show that all-male and skewed boards have lower earnings quality while that of tilted and balanced boards is higher. In addition, a critical mass of women is achieved when some 30% of directors are females. Performance and risk do not influence the relation. We contribute by presenting evidence supporting critical mass theory. Furthermore, our work adds to the recent debate on whether the association between gender diversity and earnings quality is U-shaped, rather than linear. Our results have implications for regulation and practice. We identify the need for a critical mass of women, rather than tokens, to enhance earnings quality.
This study examines the effects of the interplay between various aspects of religiosity, generational cohorts and buying attitude on Muslim consumers’ purchase intention of Islamic financial products. Based on data collected from 1263 Muslim consumers in Bangladesh, the findings broadly support the proposed conceptual model that buying attitude acts as a mechanism that transforms religiosity dimensions of Muslims into purchase intention and that the Muslim religiosity–buying attitude–purchase intention relationship is moderated by generational cohorts. The unbundling of the religiosity construct provides a deeper understanding of how the mediating (buying attitude) and moderating (generational cohorts) relationships vary across various religiosity dimensions.
This article examines the implementation errors that are made when accounting standards are implemented for the first time. Focusing on the transition to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), we provide evidence on the causes of these errors as well as the economic consequences of disclosing these errors. We find that the quality of both the chief financial officers (CFOs) and the auditors are associated with less implementation errors. We also find that there is a learning process as later adopters of IFRS report less errors compared to early adopters in the financial reporting cycle. In terms of the consequences of disclosing these errors, we find that firms reporting more implementation errors experience an increase in information asymmetry when these errors become known to market participants. Furthermore, we find a positive association between implementation errors and increases in audit fees when the implementation errors are disclosed. Our results are robust with respect to a number of sensitivity tests.
Prior self-service technology (SST) studies focus primarily on the initial adoption and its drivers. However, the long-term viability and success of an SST depend on regular and frequent usage. Therefore, this study draws on social psychology and information system/information technology literature to investigate the habit of SST usage and its driving forces. Using panel data pertaining to 626 Australian customers who used a supermarket self-checkout machine over 12 weeks, the results reveal a strong carryover effect of habit. Satisfaction and self-efficacy positively contribute to habit development. Past behavior exerts an impact through frequency and recency effects. Moreover, the driving forces of habit are more complicated for men than for women. The findings provide important implications for service providers planning technology upgrades. The results suggest that to prevent habit disruption, gradual improvements are a better and safer strategy than introducing a new, disruptive technology.
In this article, we meta-analyse 69 empirical studies assessing the association between corporate voluntary disclosure and ownership concentration and types, and how institutional characteristics and research design moderate these relationships. Our overall analyses show that state, foreign and institutional ownerships have a positive effect but managerial ownership and ownership concentration have a negative effect on voluntary disclosure. Since the overall effect may conceal the underlying factors that cause heterogeneity in the effect size distribution, we select two important institutional factors: country-level investor protection and the equity market development, and research design and journal quality, to explain the mixed and conflicting findings. Our results emphasise the need to consider legal and institutional characteristics, and researcher induced-artefacts, in understanding the role of ownership structure and identity in corporate voluntary disclosure.
This study investigates whether the abnormal returns at the quarterly earnings announcement date varies according to the market’s expectations of the nature (informative vs opportunistic) and extent of discretionary accruals for firms that meet or beat expectations (MBE). In doing so, this study introduces an innovative model that measures the market’s expectation of the informativeness of earnings at the earnings announcement date and assesses the impact on the abnormal return for the interaction between the nature and expected extent of earnings management. A large sample of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 firms that meet or exceed their earnings expectation over the period of 1998 to 2007 is analyzed. The results reveal that the expected extent of earnings management has a positive (negative) relation with the abnormal return when earnings management is informative (opportunistic).
We examine the association between various takeover outcomes and bidding firm non-executive directors’ (NEDs) compensation and expertise in the target firm industry. In our sample of 272 acquisitions by ASX listed firms between 2004 and 2011, we find that NEDs’ relative compensation and industry expertise have a negative association with the bid premium. We also find that NEDs’ relative compensation is positively associated with the bidding firm’s market reaction to the takeover announcement, and NEDs’ industry expertise is associated with a lower likelihood of an increase in the offer price, particularly for M&As viewed negatively by the market. These results are consistent with higher NEDs’ relative compensation and industry expertise leading to more effective board monitoring and advising.
Retirement income stream products are difficult for consumers to choose because of their high perceived risk, irreversibility, high expenditure, little opportunity for social learning and distant consequences. Prior literature is unclear about consumers’ use of heuristics in decumulation decisions or whether sociodemographics can help identify vulnerable consumers. In the context of Australia’s retirement income arrangements, we examine choices of life annuities and phased withdrawal products, and identify use of default options and the diversification (1/n or 50:50) heuristic using a novel finite mixture modelling approach. The innovative feature of this approach is that it captures the very specific allocation pattern associated with choices based on deterministic decision rules, namely pronounced spikes at the locations of the particular heuristics with little mass in their surroundings. We show that more than 30% of decumulation choices rely on these two heuristics, and that cognitive and product knowledge limitations contribute to using such heuristics. The results have implications for public policy on decumulation of retirement savings, regulation of product disclosures and providers of annuity and phased withdrawal products. More generally, our model has the potential to provide better understanding of the use of heuristics in consumer decisions.
This paper studies the equity premium and option pricing under the general equilibrium framework taking into account stochastic volatility. We establish analytical expressions for the equity premium and pricing kernel of the stock process. Moreover, the equilibrium option pricing formula is derived by the Fourier transformation method. Numerical results show that our model is superior to the previous model with constant volatility in explaining some financial phenomena, such as negative variance risk premium, implied volatilities and negative skewness risk premium. As the price of the underlying asset is modeled as the exponential of the Lévy process with stochastic volatility, our model is more general than the existing equilibrium pricing models.
Workplace humor is currently an emerging area of study in management research. While studies on the functions and outcomes of workplace humor in the United States abound, there is little research on humor in Australian workplaces. This limits Australian organizations from tapping the rich potential of humor to achieve positive employee and organizational outcomes. This study aims to start a research agenda on workplace humor in Australia by conducting a survey study of Australian employees’ perception of the occurrence and acceptability of humor behavior in their workplaces and by analyzing humor events at work. To achieve the latter objective, first, the scattered workplace humor literature is reviewed to develop a single framework that can effectively situate and capture humor events. Findings from 433 respondents indicate that humor occurs across a variety of organizations in Australia and that employees report positive views toward workplace humor. A surprising finding was that employees reported they expect their managers to use humor with them. Implications for managers and future research directions are developed.
In the context of an emerging market economy, this study examines the mediating role of marketing capabilities on the market orientation (MO)–performance relationship. Specifically, the authors investigate the roles of product innovativeness, customer relationship management (CRM) capability, research and development (R&D) integration and brand management capabilities in the institutionalisation of a MO culture and the implementation of MO behaviours. With data collected from 150 organisations, the authors find that MO behaviour fully mediates the effects of MO culture on product innovativeness and CRM capability, which in turn enhance firm performance. In addition, leadership quality facilitates the effect of MO culture on MO behaviour, and the effects of product innovativeness and CRM capability on firm performance are greater in the presence of R&D–marketing integration and brand management capabilities, respectively.
In this paper we build on the possibility that the use of the Cressie–Read family with the non-parametic method for valuing European option might be extended to non-parametric valuation of American options. We derive a suite of non-parametric methods to price and hedge American-style options, utilising the Cressie-Read family of divergences. We test the efficacy of these methods using a large sample of traded American-style options struck on the S&P100 index. We find that in general, our suite of non-parametric valuation schemes generate more accurate price estimates than traditional parametric schemes, especially for longer-dated options.
This article uses a survey of Australian corporate treasurers to shed light on the gap between the theory and practice of corporate finance in Australia. Seven areas are examined: capital structure, payout policy, cash holdings, initial public offerings, seasoned equity offering, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance. We also exploit the global financial crisis (GFC) to examine the effect of liquidity shocks on a firm’s capital structure choices. We then compare our Australian survey results with results from a comprehensive US survey conducted by Graham and Harvey. Our survey shows that the board of directors plays the most important role in determining capital structure decisions and that corporate treasurers play the most important role in cash holding decisions. This contrasts with the academic literature that has typically focused on the role of chief executive officer (CEO) in both capital structure and cash holding decisions. In addition, our respondents do not view the tax advantage of interest deductibility to be of first order of importance for debt issuance choices, which contrasts with most of the US empirical studies. Finally, we juxtapose the theory–practice perspective, with a review of the most recent 5 years (2011–2015) of corporate finance research published in the leading Asia Pacific Basin finance journals.
The study compares the performance of alternative implementations of both time-series and cross-sectional momentum strategies across 24 markets. We find that over our sample period, both types of momentum strategies generate positive returns under the majority of implementations evaluated but that time-series momentum is clearly superior. An important difference between the two momentum strategies is that with time-series momentum, the number of stocks included in the winner and loser portfolios vary with the state of the market. As a consequence, cross-sectional momentum digs deeper to select winning stocks when markets are weak and deeper to select losing stocks when markets are strong. As the information in the momentum signals is concentrated in the tails of the return distribution, it is not that surprising that momentum is best implemented using time-series momentum.
This paper proposes a method for generating unbiased predictors of downside and tail volatility for individual mutual funds, using theoretical market state prices and applying these to fund payoffs. The method is validated as a predictor of market downside and tail volatility. The Fund Volatility Index-Lower Partial Moment (
The adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Australia in 2005 resulted in goodwill accounting shifting from systematic annual amortisation to impairment testing. We examine whether IFRS adoption changed the association between takeover premiums and the difference between a target firm’s pre-acquisition market and book values (pre-acquisition step-up). Our results show a negative association between takeover premiums and the pre-acquisition step-up of the target firm. This association reduces however, after Australia adopted IFRS and no longer required goodwill amortisation. Consistent with the incentives arising from contracts written around accounting numbers, our results are strongest for bidding firms which compensate their CEO using an accounting-based bonus plan. These results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests.
Investigating ASX300 firms for the period 2002–2010, we find that the information content of director trading has a negative relationship with post-trade information asymmetry, but a positive relationship with information efficiency. These results are mainly driven by director purchases rather than their sales, and are stronger in non-executive director trading. Our results are robust to the adoption of IFRS in 2005 and the global financial crisis in 2008. These findings back the claims of insider trading proponents, by showing that director trading plays a crucial role in reducing information asymmetry and in improving information efficiency for stock market participants.
With the escalating influence of workplace environment on organizational behavior, this study examined the relationships between workplace ostracism, person–organization fit, perceived organizational support, organizational citizenship behavior, and deviant behavior. Although prior studies have found that workplace ostracism led to negative outcomes, research to date has not been extensive in studying the underlying mechanisms which associate workplace ostracism and its behavioral outcomes. This study investigated the mediating effects of person–organization fit and the moderating effects of perceived organizational support between person–organization fit with organizational citizenship behavior and deviant behavior. Using a sample consisting of 249 employees in various organizations in South Korea, this study found person–organization fit to mediate the relationships between workplace ostracism and both organizational citizenship behavior and deviant behavior, while perceived organizational support moderated the link between person–organization fit and both organizational citizenship behavior and deviant behavior.
Undervaluation is often offered as an important consideration in private equity transactions. This study analyzes the importance of undervaluation, vis-à-vis information asymmetry, as a determining factor in ‘going-private’ transactions in Australia. Using a matched sample of firms from 1990 to 2012, we test a predictive choice model. The empirical results show that market undervaluation is a dominant factor in private equity takeovers. These results are robust to alternative measures of valuation, prevailing market conditions, money flows and subperiods.
JEL Classification: G11, G15
The number of defective and unsafe products recalled from the market has increased dramatically in the last decade. While several studies have investigated consumer reaction to product recalls, the impact of such events on utilitarian versus hedonic attitudes towards the brand involved in the recall has not yet been assessed. Similarly, it is not clear whether brands with utilitarian positioning and brands with hedonic positioning are equally affected by recalls. Through an experiment based on a real-world stimulus from the laptop product category, this study shows that hedonic brands are more resistant to the negative effects of voluntary product recalls than are utilitarian brands. Furthermore, data show that brand familiarity mitigates the effect of the recall on utilitarian attitudes for both utilitarian and hedonic brands. Brand familiarity also positively moderates the impact of the recall on hedonic attitudes, but only for hedonic brands.
JEL Classification: M31, M37
We argue that blending temporary and standard workers in workgroups is negatively associated with the extent to which standard workers perceive that the organization provides them inducements. This effect is proposed to be mediated by the negative effects of blending on standard workers’ tasks and relationships in the workgroup. Data from 176 standard workers in blended workgroups in a large research organization shows that a higher proportion of temporary workers is associated with an increase in standard workers’ informal administrative work, decrease in their quality of workgroup relationships, and subsequently lower perceptions that the organization provides them inducements.
We investigate the relationships between innovation in the business model, business model design themes, and firm performance. The ‘business model view’ and the related ‘business model innovation’ as emerging strategy, and innovation research domains, remain both ill-defined and marred by vague construct boundaries and limited empirical support. We build on existing theory to test our research model in a sample of 331 Australian firms. We find that business model design themes, which we argue are mechanisms for appropriating value from the firm’s business model, mediate the relationship between innovation and firm performance. Innovation without clarity in the business model leads to modest or negligible performance outcomes. We advocate for novelty-centered design themes because they unlock and translate the value from innovation to firm performance to a greater extent than transaction efficiency and user simplicity. We contend that broad innovation within the business model matters to performance but only if firms focus their business model design efforts more narrowly on coherently entrenching novelty and efficiency within their activity and transaction architecture.
This paper investigates two aspects of bank financing using a sample of 1,973 Australian small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). We compare the variables that explain why Australian small to medium sized enterprises seek bank finance with those that underpin bank credit rationing of loan applications. Our analysis highlights that little overlap exists between the two sets of variables. Larger small to medium sized enterprises with growth intentions, business plans, and those in the agriculture industry are significantly more likely to seek finance. In contrast, firms in agriculture that are older, and that have incremental product innovation, 40% or more of export sales, and a male Chief Executive Officer, are less likely to be credit rationed. Importantly, having business plans, whether in large or small firms, does not relate significantly to credit rationing.
We examine the relationship between women’s representation on corporate boards and fraud. Drawing on a discussion of existing studies, we hypothesise that increasing women’s representation on boards can help mitigate fraud. We provide validation to our conjecture through an empirical analysis of 128 publicly listed companies in Australia. We show that the increase in women’s representation on company boards is associated with a decreased probability of fraud. We demonstrate the consistency of this result across different robustness checks. We believe that our findings could be of interest to policy makers interested in enhancing board governance and monitoring.
The purpose of this paper is to assess the adequacy of the Australian retirement system to fund the needs of retirees by taking into account both the Knightian risk arising from market volatility under normal market conditions as well as the Knightian uncertainty arising from rare but severe market shocks. We have also taken into account changes in employment during the pre-retirement phase. Given the low frequency, high impact of market shocks, the result is that cohorts of Australian retirees will enjoy very different levels of retirement income and there will be consequent shocks to the demand for the Age Pension supplement and potentially, significant variations in the standard of living in retirement for Australian employees. Whilst the Australian retirement system has been put forward as a model for other economies to follow, we find there is a fundamental flaw in the system.
While linear time-series models, technical analysis, and momentum models all extract information from past market data, they each interpret data differently. We test the informative role of three representative models and examine the trading performance of a combined forecasting model at the individual stock level. Our results indicate that these models all contain marginal information and complement each other. The combined trading model captures higher upward trending returns and provides the same downward trending returns compared with the buy-and-hold strategy.
Recent evidence has suggested that the benefits of equity market integration may not be shared equally by all firms. Making use of a firm-level measure of integration we investigate whether one of the documented benefits of equity market integration, lower cost of equity capital (COEC), holds for all Australian firms. Empirical evidence suggests that the degree of integration is reflected in firm COEC, albeit not in the expected way. Our results indicate that increased integration at the firm level leaves firms exposed to higher COEC when world market conditions are volatile.
This study compares Value-at-Risk (VaR) measures for Australian banks over a period that includes the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) to determine whether the methodology and parameter selection are important for capital adequacy holdings that will ultimately support a bank in a crisis period. VaR methodology promoted under Basel II was largely criticised during the GFC for its failure to capture downside risk. However, results from this study indicate that 1-year parametric and historical models produce better measures of VaR than models with longer time frames. VaR estimates produced using Monte Carlo simulations show a high percentage of violations but with lower average magnitude of a violation when they occur. VaR estimates produced by the ARMA GARCH model also show a relatively high percentage of violations, however, the average magnitude of a violation is quite low. Our findings support the design of the revised Basel II VaR methodology which has also been adopted under Basel III.
We explore the impact of delisting on the performance of the momentum trading strategy in Australia. We employ a new dataset of hand-collected delisting returns for all Australian stocks and provide the first study outside the U.S. to jointly examine the effects of delisting and missing returns on the magnitude of momentum profits. In the sample of all stocks, we find that the profitability of momentum strategies depends crucially on the returns of delisted stocks, especially on bankrupt firms. In the sample of large stocks, however, the momentum effect remains strong after controlling for the effect of delisted stocks, in contrast to the U.S. evidence in which delisting returns can explain 40% of momentum profits. As these large stocks are less exposed to liquidity risks, the momentum effect in Australia is even more puzzling than in the U.S.
Using a sample of US listed firms over the 1989–2012 period, we find that financially constrained dividend-increasing firms experience superior short-run abnormal stock returns, but suffer worse operating performance compared to similar unconstrained firms. More specifically, constrained firms in more competitive industries realize poorer long-run and operating performance. Likewise, constrained firms that increase dividends during the financial crisis also deliver inferior post-dividend-increase long-run return than do unconstrained firms. We also find evidence that constrained firms show worse stock market reaction to new equity issue announcements following dividend increase, but display a positive market response if they potentially have high investment growth opportunities. Our results are robust to alternative financial constraint proxies and abnormal return measures.
This paper investigates the roles of executive incentive structures in creating and mitigating investment-related agency costs. A model is developed which shows that underinvestment and overpayment of dividends are always expected to prevail when managers are offered short-term incentives, while overinvestment and underpayment of dividends are likely to exist when managers are offered long-term incentives. Using a large sample of non-financial US-listed firms over the period 1992–2009, it is found that managers underinvest and overpay dividends when offered vested stocks, but overinvest and underpay dividends when offered option incentives. An increase in these incentives, however, mitigates these problems. The results also suggest that, if properly constructed, long-term incentives might be superior to short-term incentives, and should be used alone in designing the optimal incentive package under certain conditions.
Several theoretical studies provide predictions on the relation between settlement likelihood and litigation stakes. Although models with generalizable settings argue in favor of a negative relation, certain specialized settings predict the opposite. In contrast to the theoretical literature, there is limited empirical analysis of the relation with only one study reporting evidence of a positive association. In this study, we infer how the stock market forms expectations regarding the relation between settlement likelihood and litigation stakes by analyzing stock returns around settlement announcement dates. We find that the market was more surprised when higher stakes lawsuits were settled, suggesting that higher stakes lawsuits were not expected to settle. We thus provide empirical support in favor of general theoretical models on conflict resolution that predict a positive relation between litigation stakes and settlement likelihood. Our results also have implications for studies of financial distress costs. Although we find evidence of the existence of financial distress costs, our results contradict a conclusion drawn in prior research—that the primary benefit of litigation settlements is the unexpected relief from financial distress costs.
This paper examines why firms choose to pay stock dividends. Using a sample of listed Chinese firms we find that older, more profitable firms with lower leverage, higher levels of retained earnings, private ownership prior to listing, that invest more in fixed assets and operate in regions with lower shareholder protection are more likely to pay stock dividends. Consistent with stock dividends substituting for stock splits, our evidence indicates that the initiation of a stock dividend is associated with a significant positive market reaction and increased analyst following. These results suggest that firms use stock dividends to attract analysts’ attention. In addition, the positive announcement effect for stock dividends increases with the size of the split factor, suggesting that management use stock dividends to keep the firm’s stock price within its acceptable trading range.
Using focus group interviews and individual stories of participants from secondary data, we illuminate the role of Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) in Australia in how it promotes cultural inclusion through programs of social and civic service. Our findings confirm the significance of cultural inclusion and the potentially useful role of arts in creating inclusive organisations and communities. We further develop a framework of cultural inclusion in the workplace to provide a holistic understanding of the cultural inclusion process that can lead to the development of inclusive workplaces. As social inclusion is central to Australia’s national identity, this article helps researchers and practitioners to understand how cultural inclusion and inclusive organisational theories collide and complement each other to create inclusive organisations.
Although there are many potential causes of failed change, ‘resistance to change’ is widely recognised as a significant contributor to this problem. Much of the literature relating to resistance has focused on the context-specific antecedents which can be divided into those relating to change outcomes and those that focus on change implementation. Justice research acknowledges the importance of employee perceptions of fairness in change management, and identifies it as a key factor in developing positive employee attitudes toward organisational change. Using change process characteristics of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX), participation and information as antecedents, the aim of the present study was to examine the influence of employee perceptions of justice on resistance to change. The results of a survey of 100 employees in an Australian workplace indicate that informational justice mediated the relationship between LMX and resistance to change.
This study explores the relationship between realized variance jump risk and conditional equity risk premium. Using high frequency records of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, we construct a realized variance measure and estimate its jump component using a Heterogeneous Autoregressive model augmented by a jump component. We find strong evidence that the realized variance jump risk measure significantly relates to excess stock market returns in-sample and out-of-sample from 1998 to 2010. Further, the predictive power of the variance jump remains both statistically and economically significant after controlling for commonly-used return predictors, and is also independent from variance risk premium and price jump risk. Calibration-based evidence is also consistent with our empirical findings.
Using a large multi-country multi-industry sample of over 158,000 companies, the early-stage company sector is documented to have sizable destruction of revenues and jobs and as well as sizable gross creation of revenues and jobs. The creation aspect has captured the dominant attention of researchers, commentators, and policy makers. Destruction, despite its large magnitude, has long been a backwater of research and most commentary on this sector. Destruction is not simply non-growth but rather prior growth that is subsequently reversed. This paper analyzes creation and destruction evidence across 10 different countries and across eight different major industry groups. Yearly growth/decline rates using revenues and headcount for Years 2 to 5 are analyzed. In each of the three growth years examined there are large amounts of destruction as well as creation simultaneously occurring. For example, in Year 5 gross revenue destruction is 34% of gross revenue creation whilst gross job destruction is 65% of gross job creation. A small percentage of companies accounts for a large percentage of the total job and revenue destruction each year. This small percentage of large destroyers is especially interesting because they had to have had, by necessity, prior sizable creation. This rapid rise and subsequent rapid fall has been very much ignored in the research literature. Regression analysis highlights this aspect for the sample of destroyers. The diverse sources of revenue and job destruction are discussed and potential fruitful research directions highlighted.
Given the nature of East Asia’s economic structure, interregional exchange rate stability is an essential requirement for regional economic integration. One way to achieve exchange rate stability is for the region to adopt an anchor currency. However, the choice of a potential anchor is an important question for policy planners. This paper examines the role of 5 major currencies as candidates for an anchor currency in the East Asian region. In particular, the paper examines the dynamic linkages between a selected sample of East Asian currencies with each potential anchor currency, the Australian dollar, Japanese yen, euro, US dollar and Chinese renminbi. Utilizing a recently developed test procedure which distinguishes the long-run Granger non-causality from that in the short-run, this paper does not find any support to the much debated emergence of a yen bloc, euro bloc, or koala bloc. The empirical evidence brought forward in this paper suggests that the US dollar is still a dominant currency in the East Asian region.
This study develops a style rotation model based on quarterly forecasts of style factor (SF) returns, across four style categories, generated using market and macroeconomic data. The prescriptions from this model are tested on a sample of US active equity mutual funds’ portfolio holdings. An annual buy-and-hold style timing strategy investing in the factor with the highest forecast return each quarter achieves an average annual excess return of 7.26%, significant at the 1% level during 1981–2011. However, a fund-of-fund (FoF) timing strategy investing in the funds with the greatest exposure (i.e. the preferred funds) to the style predicted to outperform over the following year does not generate statistically significant Daniel, Grinblatt, Titman and Wermers (DGTW)-adjusted performance. The lack of performance is primarily because the long-only funds are by nature unable to fully exploit the long-short SF returns. This highlights the issue of using long-short portfolio returns, particularly when evaluating fund performance.
The importance of managed fund governance structures has become apparent in recent years. Looking at the Australian not-for-profit pension funds, we find correlations between funds’ internal governance structures and their level of costs. Larger boards are linked to higher investment management fees and expenses, operating expenses and trustee and audit fees. We also find a positive relation between the proportion of independent trustees and investment management fees and expenses and operating expenses. These fund costs increase as the number of board committees and fund size increase. Finally, we observe that the presence of board committees affects different types of fund costs. Overall, these findings suggest that the conventional good governance practices do not benefit superannuation fund members in terms of cost reduction. We find no evidence of economies of scale in cost minimisation, since the relation between fund size and costs is mixed across various governance variables.
This study examines the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) towards primary stakeholders on the cost of equity capital in Chinese listed firms, and divides the sample into state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and non-state-owned enterprises (NSOEs) for comparison. We construct a set of CSR index systems to measure the quality of the CSR practices and use several approaches to estimate firms’ ex ante cost of equity capital. The results show that firms with higher CSR scores have significantly lower cost of equity capital. In particular, we find that investments in improving CSR towards investors make the greatest contribution to reducing firms’ equity financing costs, and the cost of capital effects of CSR is more significant in recessions than in economic booms. In addition, SOEs have better CSR and lower cost of equity capital than NSOEs, but the effect of CSR in reducing the cost of equity capital is greater for NSOEs than for SOEs. The findings suggest that CSR toward primary stakeholders can be profitable and beneficial to Chinese firms.
Event studies indicate that divestitures create shareholder value. However, managers are generally disinclined to execute a divestiture due to their inherent preferences for growing the firm’s assets. Governance structures can play a significant role in restraining this agency conflict. Using a sample of divestitures carried out by Australian firms over a recent 10-year period, we find that board compensation and ownership concentration increase the likelihood of a divestiture. In addition, board compensation has a stronger effect in firms that are more likely to divest, while larger boards inhibit divestitures in firms that are less likely to divest. Our analysis involves a propensity score matching method. We show that poor matching can lead to large biases and inconsistencies.
Using several microstructure variables, this study provides an intra-day examination of aggressive trading around Australian takeover announcements. We conduct this analysis for both target and bidding firms. We examine aggressive trading (i.e. by those who initiate the trade) using the abnormal behaviour of returns, trading volume, volatility and time-weighted spreads and depth. In addition, we develop a novel profit/loss measure (PLM) based on trade initiation and provide new evidence using the recently developed volume-synchronised probability of informed trading (VPIN) metric. In a univariate setting, these measures provide evidence of increased aggressive trading in Australian target firms. Further, after controlling for several microstructure variables, multivariate analysis reveals the presence of abnormally elevated time-weighted spreads prior to the announcement date for target firms. We show that VPIN is significantly elevated for target firms, especially in the four days prior to the takeover announcement.
Dynamic forecasts of financial distress have received far less attention than static forecasts, particularly in Australia. This study, therefore, investigates dynamic probability forecasts for Australian firms. Novel features of the modelling are the use of time-varying variables in forecasts from a Cox model. Not only is this one of relatively few studies to apply dynamic variables in forecasting financial distress, but to the authors’ knowledge it is the first to provide forecasts of survival probabilities using the Cox model with time-varying variables. Forecast accuracy is evaluated using receiver operating characteristics curves and the Brier Score. It was found that the dynamic model had superior predictive power, in out-of-sample forecasts, to the traditional Cox model and to the logit model.
Our study considers whether ethical investments are also good investments. In contrast with previous studies, we utilize long-run event study methodology to examine abnormal returns associated with firms being included in, and dropped from, the MSCI KLD400 Social Index (MSCI KLD400). We find that there are positive and statistically significant long-run abnormal returns for firms being included in the MSCI KLD400. These abnormal returns are associated with higher shareholdings by institutional investors (who are subject to higher public scrutiny), higher analyst coverage and higher growth opportunities.
An analysis of a proprietary dataset reveals that non-trivial proportions of directors, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers in Swedish listed companies have been convicted or suspected of crimes. Based on prior literature, we argue that directors and senior executives who have been convicted or suspected of crimes are more prone to take risk. Consistent with this argument, we find that firms with more criminally convicted/suspected directors and CEOs report more volatile earnings, engage more in goodwill writeoffs due to more unsuccessful acquisitions, and recognize bad news in earnings in a less timely manner. We also find that these firms are, on average, smaller and less profitable. These findings highlight the role personal characteristics of directors and senior management play in managerial decisions.
In this paper we categorise accruals on the basis of how they are generated, and empirically evaluate whether this categorisation provides additional insights into future earnings and is relevant to the estimation of firm value. Specifically, we categorise accruals on the basis of whether the underlying cash flows lead or lag earnings recognition, and whether the accruals are initiating or reversing (i.e. a four-way categorisation). We demonstrate that these accrual categories are not homogeneous, have differing implications for earnings persistence and are relevant for firm valuation. Significantly, where cash flows lag earnings recognition (e.g. sales made on credit) they have greater implications for future earnings than where cash flows lead earnings (e.g. unearned revenues) and depreciation. Similarly, initiating accruals have greater implications for the persistence of earnings than reversing accruals. Paradoxically, while depreciation exhibits high persistence, it has less of an implication for the persistence of earnings than either lag or initiating earnings categories. These findings enhance our understanding of the properties of accounting income and how it is impounded into share prices.
This study investigates the governance attributes of firms that have been subject to securities class actions (SCAs). There has been a recent sizable increase in the number of firms subject to SCAs in Australia. We examine a sample of firms that have been subject to SCAs due to disclosure breaches and match the firms by industry and size to a control sample. First, we examine the compliance culture of the SCA firms via the frequency of Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) queries of the firm and find that the frequency of ASX queries is positively associated with the occurrence of a SCA. Secondly, we provide evidence that SCA firms exhibit weaker levels of corporate governance than the matched control sample. In addition, we contribute to the understanding of firms subject to SCAs and their corporate governance attributes. Our results suggest the presence of a nomination committee may be associated with higher agency costs and that the influence of CEO duality may reduce the effectiveness of a nomination committee.
This study extends an examination of Quality investing in the US to the Australian market. Specifically, a Quality score is computed as the aggregate of eight fundamental accounting metrics. An investment strategy investing in the highest (lowest) quality stock quintile, that is, Quintile 5 (1) generates an average annual Daniel, Grinblatt, Titman and Wermers (DGTW)-adjusted alpha of 6.37% (–7.98%), which is significant at the 5% level over April 2000–March 2010. A two-way segmentation based on size first, and quality second, reveals that the strong positive quality effect is primarily driven by small stocks, as the average DGTW-alpha for the top-quality tercile of small stocks is 14.02%, significant at the 5% level. Statistically significant positive DGTW-alphas are also determined for quality micro and large stocks. The quality analysis is also applied to a sample of Active Equity Mutual Funds’ stock holdings. Weak evidence of the quality return premium is detected at the fund level.
Drawing on the climate–attitudes–outcome framework, this article examines the mediating effect of job satisfaction on the relationship between psychological climate perceptions (i.e., service climate, team support, and job security) and the job performance of frontline service employees. The authors further consider whether the link between psychological climate perceptions and job satisfaction may be moderated by three core self-evaluation traits of frontline service staff (emotional labor, self-efficacy, and personal achievement orientation). A survey of 874 frontline service employees reveals that service climate, team support, and job security indirectly contribute to job performance through job satisfaction. When more emotional labor deep acting is performed, the effects of the service climate on job satisfaction grow stronger. However, the effects of team support and job security on job satisfaction are not contingent on self-efficacy or personal achievement orientation, respectively.
This paper investigates customer foreign exchange (FX) transactions to learn if there are any groups of customers whose transactions are related to subsequent FX rate changes. We use a unique data set from an Australian commercial bank with every customer FX trade in the spot Australian Dollar/US Dollar market between 2005 and 2010. We use Monte Carlo simulation to generate benchmark expected cash flows for each individual customer. This enables us to determine whether that customer’s transaction history is well-timed and therefore potentially relevant for FX determination. We find very few customers whose transactions appear well-timed, given subsequent FX rate changes.
Unlike acquiring company shareholders in Australian takeovers, but like shareholders in government initial public offerings, shareholders of companies purchasing Australian government assets earn economically and statistically significant positive abnormal returns. However, unlike privatisations via initial public offerings where all citizens are entitled to subscribe for shares, in privatisations via asset sales only acquiring company shareholders benefit from any under-pricing. This suggests the need for greater scrutiny to ensure fair pricing in privatisation via asset sales.
This paper attempts to uncover the determinants of the dealer bid-ask spread in the foreign exchange market. Prior research has examined the Huang–Masulis model wherein the spread is modelled as a function of dealer competition and volatility. We first extend this model to a much larger set of quote data covering several currencies over five years. A more recent model of the bid-ask spread has been proposed (BSW) wherein the spread is modelled as a function of order-processing costs, inventory-holding costs, adverse selection and competition. This model has not previously been tested in the foreign exchange market and this study conducts such a test. We find general support for both models using individual currency samples and a pooled sample. Of note, we find strong evidence for the relevance of the inventory-holding premium on the size of the dealer bid-ask spread. To compare the two models we undertake out-of-sample forecasts of the spread and find evidence that favours the BSW model in the aggregated sample, while the evidence is mixed in relation to individual currencies.
This paper explores the impact of market discipline on bank risk taking. We examine a broad sample of financial institutions from the G7 nations over the period 1996–2010. We apply System Generalized Method of Moments estimation to control for endogeneity and other unobserved heterogeneity in a dynamic panel setting. Our analysis suggests that market discipline helps reduce bank risk (both equity and credit risk). Moreover, we find that this negative impact of market discipline is stronger: (a) in the presence of a risk-adjusted insurance premium; and (b) during the post-global financial crisis period. However, the disciplinary effect of market discipline is not enhanced in the presence of bank capital. We highlight the policy implications of these findings.
We estimate the effect of corporate diversification on firm value using a sample of 766 segment-year observations during 2004–2008 for firms listed on the Australian Stock Exchange as of August 2009. In addition to conventionally used measures of diversification, we develop five new measures of diversification that explicitly take into account the degree to which a multi-segment firm’s various segments are in related lines of business. We use three different excess value measures to estimate the valuation effect of diversification. We find that multi-segment firms in our sample enjoyed a significant diversification premium that ranges from 12.4% to 18% depending on the measures of diversification and excess value. We also find some evidence that multi-segment firms benefit more from diversification when their executives are motivated more through long-term incentives such as stock and stock options.
We propose and empirically test a multilevel model of cross-level interactions between leader self-perceptions (team level) and follower perceptions of authentic leadership on job satisfaction. Data from 24 supervisors and 171 team members were used. Applying hierarchical linear modelling, we found that follower perceptions of authentic leadership predict employee job satisfaction. We also found support for the interaction effect of leader self-perceptions and follower perceptions of authentic leadership in predicting job satisfaction, integrating the leader- and follower-centric perspectives of authentic leadership. Polynomial regression analysis further supported the fact that the congruence between leader self-perceptions and follower perceptions of authentic leadership is beneficial and that both need to be present at high levels to produce the most beneficial results in terms of followers’ job satisfaction.
This study supplies new evidence regarding the predictive power of jumps for conditional market returns and volatilities. We change the constant jump intensity as in the Liu et al. and Du models with time-varying intensity following an autoregressive conditional jump intensity process and a squared Bessel process, and apply calibrated jump premiums to predict excess market returns and volatilities. We show that all calibrated jump premiums have significant predictive power in-sample and out-of-sample. We find that in the US market Liu et al.’s model forecasts excess returns and volatilities better. The autoregressive conditional jump intensity process of jump intensity predicts excess returns better, and the squared bessel process forecasts volatilities better. In the Australian market we find that the model with autoregressive conditional jump intensity process of jump intensity predicts Australian market returns and volatilities better.
The health-care industry requires large expenditure on research and development (R&D), with many projects undergoing long development cycles, usually with uncertain outcomes. Extant research has mainly concentrated on the health-care industry in the United States, where R&D costs are expensed as incurred. Previous Australian research has found mixed results in relation to R&D expenditure and changes in share price. This study investigates whether R&D expenditure reported in the health-care industry since the introduction of IAS 38 is significantly associated with share price. Results of the study show that expensed R&D is value-relevant, while a comparison of the pre and post-IAS 38 periods (including pre-global financial crisis (GFC) and GFC periods) shows a statistically significant improvement in the explanatory power of the regression model post-IAS 38, suggesting that R&D expenditure reported under the new standard IAS 38 is more useful for decision-making by investors compared with reporting under AASB 1011.
JEL Classification: M40, M41, M48
Traditionally, financial risk management has mainly focused on the types of risk that can be identified and measured. Many actuarial and statistical theories and models have been developed in the past, to quantify such risks. However, high-profile events such as Black Monday, the Asian financial crisis, 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Enron scandal, and more recently the global financial crisis, has repeatedly proven to the financial world that risks which matter to the stability of financial firms are often immeasurable and unidentifiable. Hence, simply focusing on the measurable risks is inadequate for a sound management of financial risks. In this paper, we develop a holistic framework to identify (if possible), measure (if possible), and manage the measurable, as well as the immeasurable, and the unidentifiable risks. We identify four realms of financial uncertainties and point out that each realm possesses a unique set of challenges to risk management. Moreover, we show that the tools needed to grapple each realm of uncertainty are fundamentally different, therefore stressing the importance of the need for awareness of these separate realms of uncertainty. The paper provides a discussion of methods available for assessing and managing each realm of uncertainty, and their limitations, by drawing from risk management techniques used in various fields of science and other industries.
This paper provides an overview of qualitative research to encourage finance researchers to apply a more diverse approach to current research practices. Social science researchers recognize that research questions should determine what research paradigm is best for each study. Imagine the benefits to finance if we expand our empirical sources of data to include what people have to say, which then allows us to explore the complex reasoning behind these conversations. It is the intent of this paper to enhance our current research practices in finance through the use of qualitative methods and to view this approach as an invaluable supplement or prelude to existing practices.
This study seeks insights into the economic consequences of accounting conservatism by examining the relation between conservatism and cost of equity capital. Appealing to the analytical and empirical literatures, we posit an inverse relation. Importantly, we also posit that the strength of the relation is conditional on the firm’s information environment, being the strongest for firms with high information asymmetry and the weakest (potentially negligible) for firms with low information asymmetry. Based on a sample of US-listed entities, we find, as predicted, an inverse relation between conservatism and the cost of equity capital, but further, that this relation is diminished for firms with low information asymmetry environments. This evidence indicates that there are economic benefits associated with the adoption of conservative reporting practices and leads us to conclude that conservatism has a positive role in accounting principles and practices, despite its increasing rejection by accounting standard setters.
JEL Classification: M41
This paper investigates whether customer order flow conveys information about future foreign exchange (FX) prices. We use a unique data set from a leading Australian commercial bank that records every FX trade made by the bank in the spot Australian dollar/US dollar market between 2005 and 2010. We find little evidence in support of a cointegrating relation or a statistically significant correlation between customer order flow and FX returns. However, consistent with the liquidity provision role of non-financial customers in Evans and Lyons ((2002) Order flow and exchange rate dynamics. Journal of Political Economy 110: 170–180), we find a statistically significant negative correlation between order flow from the diversified economic sector and FX returns. A dynamic analysis suggests that order flow has little or no price impact on FX returns. These results suggest that the non-financial customer order flow of a commercial bank does not carry information about FX prices.
JEL Classification: G23
We investigate the content, timing and relevance of firms’ narrative disclosure about the effects of IFRS adoption in annual statutory financial statements and firm announcements to the stock exchange for 150 large listed Australian firms in the three-year period surrounding adoption (which occurred from 1 January 2005). We observe communication about changes in financial reports, even when the change relates to accounting rather than economic events. We record more disclosure by firms experiencing an adverse change in earnings, consistent with them being sensitive to signals about future earnings. When economic performance is stronger, firms provide less discussion of the accounting effects of IFRS. We also find the discussion of IFRS impact in both disclosure channels is value–relevant for firms with relatively higher levels of disclosure, providing evidence of the usefulness of transition disclosures.
JEL Classification: M40, M41
We analyse the impact of firm-level corporate governance practices on the riskiness of a firm’s stock returns in a setting that can be considered as less conducive to managerial risk-taking. Our empirical evidence, based on a comprehensive sample of New Zealand firms, shows that firms with large boards are associated with lower levels of risk-taking, ceteris paribus. Furthermore, our results indicate that multiple large shareholders facilitate higher levels of risk-taking by the firm. Finally, our results also show that concentrated shareholdings of inside directors have a negative relation to risk-taking. Our findings are robust to controls for the three potential sources of endogeneity. Since prior work documents results consistent with the view that institutional and market environments largely determine governance outcomes, our work has implications for managers, investors and policy makers, particularly in less developed capital markets with weaker corporate takeover regimes and less performance-oriented managerial compensation.
Following the introduction of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), CO2 emissions have become a tradable commodity. As a regulated party, emitters are forced to take into account the additional cost of carbon emissions in their production costs structure. Given the high volatility in the carbon price, the importance of price risk management becomes unquestionable. This study is the first attempt that has been made to calculate hedge ratios and to investigate their hedging effectiveness in the EU-ETS carbon market by applying conventional, recently developed estimation models. These hedge ratios are then compared with those derived for other markets. In spite of the uniqueness and novelty of the carbon market, the results of the study are consistent with those found in other markets – that the hedge ratio is in the range of 0.5–1.0 and is still best estimated by simple regression models.
Keith Goode has for many years been one of Australia’s highest profile mining analysts. He is unique among them, being a commissioned analyst. Goode’s clients—mostly small cap mining companies with limited analyst coverage—pay for a report, which he publishes electronically, but only if his report is positive. Using reports published over eight years from September 2001, we estimate his clients typically benefit by about AUD$14m, or almost 10% of the company’s share market value, with much of the benefit coming almost immediately after the report’s release. Market liquidity surges in the first hour of trading, with the value of trades, flow of buy orders relative to sells, and level of overall activity all increasing significantly. To demonstrate significance, we develop ‘fractile analysis’, a robust, relatively powerful and quite general method for detecting abnormal market activity. Our study is relevant to day traders, analysts and other information intermediaries. The methodological refinement should also interest students of ‘abnormal’ market behaviour.
The extant literature demonstrates the importance of stock return predictability for portfolio allocation. The usefulness of incorporating return predictability into portfolio decisions is most evident for Bayesian investors who build their portfolios based on their prior beliefs. I show that the magnitude of economic significance of stock return predictability largely depends on the choice of prior beliefs. An investor could suffer substantial utility loss when he delegates portfolio management to a manager with a different belief about stock return predictability. The consideration of Bayesian prior robustness in portfolio analysis can be as important as return predictability itself.
This paper investigates the timing abilities of Australian managed fund managers. To examine timing abilities, the cross-sectional bootstrap approach is adopted to determine whether timing ability is due to skill or luck. Based on three alternative timing measures, we find that top-ranked Australian fund managers have genuine timing abilities. In addition, the poor timing ability with bottom-ranked funds is not likely to be due to luck either, implying that the market exposure of some Australian managed funds is mistakenly adjusted when the stock market improves.
The study examines the effects of organisational and individual factors of real estate agents on customer orientation. The organisational factors included are standards for service delivery (culture), supervisor support and co-worker support. The individual factors examined are self-efficacy and job satisfaction. The sample comprises 108 employees in the real estate industry. The moderating effects of job satisfaction and co-worker support between standards for service delivery and customer orientation and self-efficacy on the relationship between co-worker support and customer orientation offer new insights into the antecedents of customer orientation in a high-pressure selling-oriented industry, which have implications for staff selection and training and work organisation. This paper presents an original contribution to understanding the effects of individual and organisational characteristics on customer orientation.
We investigate the relationship between managerial share ownership (MSO) and earnings as a measure of operating performance in Australia. To mitigate potential earnings management, we also use discretionary accrual adjusted earnings as an alternative measure of performance. We document a negative relation between MSO and performance followed by a positive relation. We suggest that these unique results are an artefact of certain Australian institutional features and imply that the ownership–performance relation is context-specific, with the wider corporate governance systems influencing the theorised incentive effects. We also posit that executive directors and independent directors have different ownership–performance incentives. Our results are consistent with this proposition and suggest that independent directors may be immune to the theorised incentive alignment or entrenchment effects associated with share ownership.