Do Share Issue Privatizations Really Improve Firm Performance in China?
36 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2015
Date Written: October 30, 2015
This paper argues that the documented post-share issue privatization (SIP) decline in profitability of divested Chinese companies is not evidence per se that China’s SIP program is ineffective or unsuccessful. Instead, the positive privatization effect is often outweighed by a negative listing effect. We employ a triple difference approach to separate these two effects, and examine a sample of 248 Chinese SIPs from 1999-2009 matched with otherwise comparable SOEs and privately-owned firms. We document a negative listing effect since ROS of privately-owned firms tends to decline after going public by 2.6% and their EBIT/Sales by 3.8%. After adjusting for this negative listing effect, however, we show that China’s SIP program yields significantly improved profitability (ROS and EBIT/Sales), and find this result is robust to alternative specifications. Our study highlights the need to account for the listing effect in analyzing performance improvements following share issue privatizations -- which have accounted for the bulk of China’s listed companies and market capitalization.
Keywords: Privatization, International financial markets, Government policy and regulation
JEL Classification: G32, G38, G15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation