Corporate governance of Chinese publicly listed companies

Gu, Wei (2013) Corporate governance of Chinese publicly listed companies. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Agency theory suggests that problems will arise when there is a separation of ownership and control in firms. According to the literature, the main agency problem under a diffused ownership structure is likely to be the conflict of interests between managers and shareholders, whereas the central agency problem under a concentrated ownership structure is probably the exploitation of minority shareholders' interests by controlling shareholders. In the case of Chinese enterprises, such problems are even more complicated, as the government acts as both the regulator and player in the markets.

This thesis utilises data from Chinese stock markets to address some important issues in the corporate governance literature. Firstly, it empirically examines the relationship between ownership structure and corporate performance in Chinese publicly listed companies (PLCs), with the heterogeneity amongst state ownership types being carefully explored. In contrast with previous research, I found that state ownership does not necessarily lead to inferior corporate performance, and some state owners can perform equally as well as their private competitors.

Secondly, this thesis thoroughly investigates the issue of corporate cash holdings of Chinese PLCs, which enhances our understanding of firms' cash holding behaviour in the context of the largest transition economy. The empirical analysis not only reveals the determinants of corporate cash holdings of PLCs, but also I confirms the existence of the target cash holding level in China. Moreover, the exploitation of firms' dynamic adjustment mechanisms towards target levels is also included in the analysis.

Finally, it seeks to redress the gap in the literature on top executive turnover in the Chinese context. The executive turnover-performance relationship is explicitly modelled in the analysis, and a variety of reasons why CEOs exit their posts are also dearly identified. Empirical findings confirm a negative relationship between corporate performance and CEO turnover. Also, empirical analysis suggests that regardless of the ownership types, there is no systematic difference in the CEO performance-turnover sensitivity among PLCs. Meanwhile, there is evidence showing that PLCs tend to report some 'face-saving' reasons instead of disclosing true reasons for turnovers, in order to protect their departing CEOs.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Amess, K.
Girma, S.
Keywords: Corporate governance, Chinese PLC companies
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 14411
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 09:31
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2016 02:55

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