Information Asymmetry, Market Segmentation, and the Pricing of Cross-Listed Shares: Theory and Evidence from Chinese a and B Shares
47 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 1998
Date Written: July 1998
In contrast to most other countries, Chinese foreign class B shares trade at an average discount of about 60 percent to the prices at which domestic A shares trade. We argue that one reason for the large price discount of B shares is because foreign investors have less information on Chinese stocks than domestic investors. We develop a model, incorporating both informational asymmetry and market segmentation, and derive a relative pricing equation for A shares and B shares. We show theoretically that an A share index security, tradable by foreigners, increases the liquidity of B shares. Our empirical study of Chinese stocks supports the predictions of our model. Specifically, we show that our model-based proxies for informational asymmetry explain a significant portion of the cross-sectional variation of the B share discounts.
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation