Ownership Structure and Insider Trading: Evidence from China
63 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2014 Last revised: 8 May 2016
Date Written: October 7, 2014
In this paper, we examine the information content of insider transactions in China and analyze how ownership structures shape market reaction to these transactions. We find that the cumulative abnormal return (CAR) to insider purchases is a convex function of the percentage of shares owned by the largest shareholder. Further, the CAR to insider purchases is lower when the largest shareholder is government-related, or when the control rights of the largest shareholder exceed its cash flow rights. We also find that the market reaction to insider purchases is more positive for firms audited by Big 4 auditors. However, we do not find a significant relationship between an ownership structure and the market reaction to insider sales. Our results are remarkably robust to alternative model specifications, corporate insider identities and recent corporate news releases on price-sensitive events. Finally, we show that market reaction to insider purchases is larger for firms with less severe expropriations, as captured by the use of other receivables.
Keywords: Insider trading; ownership structure; audit quality; China
JEL Classification: G34
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