The Effects of Financial Disclosure Levels on Firms' Choices among Alternative Foreign Stock Exchange Listings
Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting. Vol 1, No. 1, pp. 55-87, 1989
34 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2010 Last revised: 9 Nov 2010
Date Written: October 11, 1988
Firms are increasingly adopting a global perspective. Nowhere is this more evident than in the accelerating internationalization of the world's financial capital markets. In just five years the dollar volume of debt and equity securities placed annually by firms outside of their national borders has increased by 900%.' In the US, primary offerings of foreign debt and equity have averaged over $5 billion per year since 1975. Between 1974 and 1984, the dollar volume of foreign stocks traded in secondary markets in the US rose 839%. A recent survey lists 472 companies as having active international trading in their equity securities. Once a firm decides to list its equity securities on a foreign exchange, available evidence suggests that the choice of listing location(s) is not random.
This study addresses this question by presenting empirical evidence on the cross-sectional association between the financial disclosure levels of nine major stock exchanges (in eight countries) and the observed exchange choices of a sample of 207 US and non-US firms whose equity securities are listed on at least one foreign exchange. We interpret "financial disclosure" broadly to include both mandated accounting, listing and regulatory requirements and voluntary disclosures dictated by the expectations of market participants. Examining large firms with at least one foreign listing allows us to more effectively control for factors motivating firms' decisions to list abroad and to concentrate on factors influencing choices among alternative foreign exchange listings. Results from univariate and multivariate tests are consistent with financial disclosure levels influencing foreign exchange listing decisions.
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