Corporate Governance, Cross-Listing, and Managerial Response to Stock Price Discounting: Royal Ahold and Market Arbitrage - Amsterdam and New York, 1973-2004
27 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2005
Date Written: October 12, 2004
Of the events signalling the end of the TMT bubble, scandals of corporate governance in the US and Europe captured the public imagination. In play were the greed and hubris of senior executives prompting further debate over countries' standards of corporate governance. If Enron and WorldCom were the US reference points, Ahold and Parmalat were the European instances. Ahold was especially important, being an instance of significant internal accounting and reporting failures and an instance of poor public disclosure of market-sensitive information. We report the analysis of market trading in Ahold stock in both Amsterdam and New York. It is shown that greater volatility in Amsterdam daily closing prices presaged the crisis to come in Ahold shares suggesting the leakage of information to privileged insiders. It is also shown that New York prices were inefficient not withstanding the advantages of a New York listing for the firm. Implications are drawn for the theory of global finance, and the nature and scope of convergence in national standards of corporate governance. It is argued that the co-existence of rather different regimes of governance may be undercut by the reaction of institutional investors in the global financial market place to the actions of corporate management.
Keywords: Ahold, corporate governance, cross-listing, time-space market pricing
JEL Classification: F36, G14, G15, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation