The use of accounting information for the valuation of dual-class shares listed on China's stock markets

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Journal / PublicationAccounting and Business Research
Volume32
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

This study examines whether accounting data are useful in helping explain the market value of listed firms in China. In particular, we focus our investigation on companies that have issued dual-class shares sold to domestic investors (A-shares) and foreigners (B-shares). Domestic accounting standards (DAS) are used for the financial statements of A-shares while international accounting standards (IAS) are used for B-shares. Our results show that IAS earnings information is incorporated in the prices and returns of B-shares. In contrast, A-share investors appear to place most weight on DAS earnings and only recently has there been an association with IAS information. Book values are value relevant for B-share prices but not for A-share prices. Sensitivity tests show that accounting information is more likely to be impounded in share prices and returns for firms with high individual (i.e. non-government) share ownership. Based on our results, we argue that China's move towards the adoption of IAS will be useful for A-share investors, especially in light of the country's recent accession to the WTO and the consequent opening-up of the economy.