Financial centers and ownership concentration: When is ownership concentration value relevant? Evidence from an emerging market

Research paper by Omar Farooq, Ilham Zarouali

Indexed on: 30 Apr '16Published on: 30 Apr '16Published in: Research in International Business and Finance


Does the location of a firm’s headquarter effect ownership concentration?? Do stock market participants value ownership concentration differently for firms located at different geographic locations? Using data from India, this paper shows that firms headquartered in Mumbai, the main financial center of a country, have lower ownership concentration than firms headquartered elsewhere. We argue that clustering of firms in the financial center reduce information asymmetries and lower the incentives for concentrated ownership. Our results also show that as the extent of analyst following increase, the difference between ownership concentration of firms headquartered in Mumbai and firms headquartered elsewhere goes up. We argue that higher analyst coverage reduces information asymmetries quicker for firms headquartered in the financial center and results in larger difference between the two groups. In addition, we also show that ownership concentration is value relevant only for firms headquartered in the non-financial centers. We show no relationship between ownership concentration and firm performance and valuation in the financial centers. This paper provides evidence that location of a firm’s headquarter in the financial center can significantly alter its information environment. Reduced information asymmetries lower the incentives for concentrated ownership in the financial centers.

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