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Determinants of state equity ownership, and its effect on value/performance: China's privatized firms

By Alex Ng, Ayse Yuce and Eason Chen

Abstract

Evidence on the relationship between state ownership and performance in China's privatized firms is convex, concave and linear. Hence, the nature of this relationship is not resolved. This study examines this relationship for a larger, more recent sample of 4315 firm year observations of privatized Chinese firms during 1996-2003. Results support the hypothesis of a convex relationship between state ownership and performance showing benefits from strong privatization and state control. Not only is ownership structure found to affect performance, but also ownership concentration and balance of power jointly affect performance. Chinese firms with mixed control show significantly poorer performance than state or private controlled firms affirming the problem of ambiguity of ownership control, property rights, agency issues, profits and welfare objectives. New determinants of state ownership in China's firms are strategic importance, legal ownership, profitability, and market performance. Privatization benefits because there is a causal relation between ownership and performance.Privatization Performance China State owned enterprises Ownership structure Ownership concentration Power

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