The Performance of Newly Privatized Firms in Selected MENA Countries: The Role of Ownership Structure, Governance and Liberalization Policies
59 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2006
Date Written: March 2006
The paper works with a sample of 95 newly privatized firms (NPFs) that went public through stock markets in four Middle East and North Africa countries (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey). We find that these firms experience significant increase in profitability and operating efficiency, and significant decline in employment and leverage. We also document strong performance improvements for firms that not relinquish control from the state, that are not sold to foreigners and that come from Egypt. Employment decline is more severe in Egypt and in firms where the state is no longer in control. Also, the results indicate that revenue firms and NPFs in Morocco yield significantly less leverage than control firms and those from other countries. As for the sources of these performance changes, we find that profitability change is negatively related to control relinquishment by the government and positively related with foreign ownership. Trade openness, change in real GDP over the privatization window, index of investor protection and foreign ownership are important determinants of the change in sales efficiency and output changes. These findings suggest that NPFs become more productive in environments where property rights are better protected and enforced and that foreign investors influence the firm's productivity through their monitoring role.
Keywords: Privatization, Ownership Structure, Corporate Governance, Economic Liberalization, and MENA Countries.
JEL Classification: G3, F3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation