Current Issue

Capital Markets Review Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 1-23 (2020)

Corporate Governance in Australia: Share Repurchases under an Imputation Tax System

Hussein Abedi Shamsabadi1, Byung S. Min1 , Imen Tebourbi2 & Mohammad Nourani3
1Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, Griffith University, Australia.
2Faculty of Management, Canadian University Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 
3School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

Abstract: Research Question: Whether the mitigating effect of corporate governance on investor perceptions of corporate agency problems affects corporate financial dividend decisions is a question, especially under an imputation tax system. Motivation: Since 2003 Australian firms must comply with the Principle of Good Corporate Governance and Best Practice Recommendations by the Australian Securities Exchange. Moreover, since the imputation tax system in Australia substantially differs from other countries, a study investigating the effect of corporate governance on share repurchases in Australia is warranted. Idea: Hence, this paper examines the association between corporate governance and share repurchases in Australia given its unique taxation system for corporate dividend payments. More specifically, we examine the association between corporate governance and the choice of dividend strategies under Australia’s imputation tax regime. We developed and tested three hypotheses: 1) better corporate governance is associated with greater ratio of share repurchase; 2) the ratio of share repurchase is positively associated with the payout ratio of cash dividends for firms that adopt a franked dividend regime; and 3) any positive association between the ratio of share repurchase with the payout ratio of cash dividends for firms that adopt a franked-dividend regime is evident only for firms with strong corporate governance. Data: We have a final sample of 1858 firm-year observations of which 250 (i.e., 13.5%) involve share repurchases for the 2004-2013 period. The sample companies are obtained from the constituents of the ASX 300, which contains the top 300 firms listed on the stock exchange in Australia (ASX). Method/Tools: We use Tobit regression method to estimate the models. Findings: Consistent with the literature, we find a positive association of share repurchases with better corporate governance, but contrary to the literature for the U.S. and Sweden, we find a positive association between share repurchases and cash distributions, which weakens with poorer corporate governance. Contributions: Our robust findings highlight the importance of country-specific institutional arrangements such as tax regimes when understanding corporate dividend strategies. Overall, we show that the mitigating effect of corporate governance on investor perceptions of corporateagency problems affects corporate financial dividend decisions.

 

Capital Markets Review Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 25-47 (2020)

Do Heterogeneous Boards Promote Firm Innovation? Evidence from Malaysia

Sa’adiah Munir1 , Gary John Rangel2 , Ravichandran K. Subramaniam1  & Mohd. Zulkhairi bin Mustapha3
1School of Business, Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia.
2School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

3Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Abstract: Research Question: What are the effects of board heterogeneity on a firm’s innovation in Malaysia? Motivation: Prior literature has presented differing views on the role of the board of directors and based on the resource dependency theory, board of directors is seen as a boundary spanner in the environment, securing resources for the organization and providing strategic advice that aids in firm survival and performance (Hillman & Dalziel, 2003; Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978; Hillman et al., 2000). This motivates us to explore the different dimensions of board characteristics and their influences on promoting innovation activities in the firms. Idea: In this study, we seek to understand the role of the board of directors in influencing innovation activities in firms by specifically investigating the effects of board heterogeneity on innovation in Malaysia. Data: Using a sample of 345 observations for the period 2010 to 2012, we examine eight different aspects of board heterogeneity. Financial data used as control variables are obtained from the Compustat database, while board heterogeneity data were hand collected from an individual company’s annual report downloaded from the Bursa Malaysia’s website. Method/Tools: Firm innovation is measured at two points in time. One is at the onset which entails R&D expenditure and the other at the end of the process which is the output of R&D, such as patents and patent citations. The final sample comprises 345 firm-year observations after excluding the missing data. Findings: Our results show that heterogeneous boards have both positive and negative effects on innovation. We find that gender, ethnic and tenure heterogeneity of directors encourage firms to innovate. In contrast, directors’ heterogeneity on type of experience and external engagement is found to be detrimental to the firm’s innovation. Contributions: Provides evidence that board heterogeneity can help to enhance firm innovation activities. The study also looks at innovation across a larger cross-section of firms across several industries and assist in formulating policies to promote appropriate board attributes that would promote innovation.

 

Capital Markets Review Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 49-63 (2020)

We Bring You Capital and Job – Foreign Investment and Employment in Malaysia

Amy Dict-Weng Kwan1 & Tuck-Cheong Tang1
1Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Abstract: Research Question: Do foreign investment inflows bring jobs for a small open economy, Malaysia? Motivation: Past studies have employed aggregate FDI and employment data, but their findings are subjected to aggregation bias. This ‘puzzle’ is resolved by employing disaggregated data. This study is built on the basis of Wong and Tang (2011), Hale and Xu (2016), and Jude and Silaghi (2016). This study explores the impact of foreign investment inflows on jobs creation for 19 industries. It offers a better understanding either foreign investment inflows create jobs or not in the host country. It is important because foreign investment has been strategized long ago by Malaysia for economic growth. The findings are relevant for policymakers. Idea: The core idea is that foreign investment inflows into different industries in Malaysia may have different impact on jobs creation. Data: Foreign investment inflows and employment data are obtained from Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) covering annual observations between 1980 and 2016. Other variables are human capital, population, and real Gross Domestic Product acting as control variables. Method/Tools: This study considers cross-sectional (ordinary least square, OLS) equation for its respective year between 1980 and 2016. And, time-series autoregressive-distributed lag (ARDL) approach for the 19 industries, respectively. Findings: Of the estimated cross-sectional equations, foreign investment has a positive effect on employment, in which the largest effect is in the year of 1995 (0.85). The ARDL results show that foreign investment inflows and employment are cointegrated for the 19 industries. Their long-run elasticity of foreign investment on employment are statistically significant, expect for Textiles & Textile Products (TTP), Paper, Printing & Publishing (PPP), and Petroleum Products (including Petrochemicals) (PetP) industries. They have a positive sign as expected (i.e. foreign investment creates jobs), except for Leather & Leather Products (LLP), and Non-Metallic Mineral Products (NMMP) industries. Contributions: This study adds fresh findings to the research literature on effect of foreign investment inflows on employment in Malaysia, in general, and her 19 industries. It sheds an insight for policy implication, especially for both financial market and labour market.

 

Capital Markets Review Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 65-76 (2020)

Global and Local Commodity Prices: A Further Look at the Indonesian Agricultural Commodities

Pradita Nareswari1 & Sigit S. Wibowo1
1Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia.

Abstract: Research Question: This paper examines whether global commodity futures prices can be used to enrich the prediction of local commodity spot prices in the absence of local commodity futures prices information. Motivation: Our objective is to investigate whether global prices can be used as a reference if commodity futures prices are unavailable or limited. Indonesia as a producer for several major commodities only has a small number of trades in the commodity futures exchanges which is not sufficient yet to create market liquidity in the local futures market or price reference for local spot trading. Idea: This research proposes the use of global commodity prices to improve the prediction of local commodity prices where the local futures prices are limited or not available. Data: This research employs daily spot prices for CPO (crude palm oil), TSR (technically specified rubber), and cacao, which are obtained from Indonesia Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI) from 2005 to 2017. Global commodity price will use daily commodity futures prices for the same commodity obtained from Thomson Reuters Eikon database. Method/Tools: We conduct the cointegration and non-linear causality tests between Indonesia local commodity spot prices and global commodity futures prices using bi-variate VAR/VECM methodology. Findings: The results show that using Indonesian commodity prices, local commodity spot prices and global commodity futures prices are cointegrated and have bi-directional causality, which contains important information about commodity pricing. Therefore, global commodity futures prices could be used as a reference when local commodity futures prices information is less reliable. Our results also imply that the relationship between local and global commodity markets is efficient, which can be beneficial for market participants to lower the cost for information search. Contribution: This paper expands existing finance literature mainly in emerging economies, particularly for commodity markets where the price information is unavailable or limited.

 

Updated on 31 March 2020 by S.F. Chuah