Foreign Investors' Reaction to Lower Profitability the Role of Information Asymmetry
Hanken School of Economics - Department of Economics
P. Joakim Westerholm
The University of Sydney Business School; Financial Research Network (FIRN)
International Review of Finance, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 455-483, 2010
Owners of firms in trouble are more exposed to moral hazard problems than owners of successful firms. Foreign owners who face higher costs to monitor the firm should be more vulnerable to these problems than domestic ones. Consequently, a downward revision in a firm's expected future earnings should push foreign investors to sell their shares to a larger extent than domestic investors. We test this hypothesis on profit warnings issued at the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Our results reveal that in the wake of profit warnings foreign investors will predominantly sell, while domestic investors pick up the net sales by foreigners. Differences in the scale of the foreign investor sell-out reaction are explained by a number of variables. The most significant one is our proxy for the magnitude of surprise in the warning. The reaction also increases with the degree of perceived information asymmetry for the firm that issued the warning, while foreign members on the firm's board have a moderating impact. By contrast, a number of general corporate governance-related variables have no statistically significant impact on the reaction.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 1, 2011
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