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Puzzles in the Chinese stock market
Many companies on China's stock markets have separate, restricted classes of shares for domestic residents and foreigners. Other than who can own them, these shares are identical, but foreigners pay only about one-quarter the price paid by domestic residents. We show that plausible differences--about 4 percentage-points--in expected rates of return by foreign and domestic investors can account for the generally higher level and volatility of prices for domestic shares relative to foreign shares. We attribute low Chinese expected returns to the limited alternative investments available in China. We then explore the extent to which various company characteristics can explain cross-company differences in the relative price paid by foreigners. For example, foreigners pay a lower relative price for companies with a higher proportion owned by the state--reflecting, surprisingly, a higher absolute price paid by both foreigners and domestic residents. Several puzzles remain. For example, we are unable to explain why Chinese investors in Shanghai paid lower prices in 1994 and 1995 for companies with their foreign listings in Hong Kong rather than Shanghai.
AUTHORS: Fernald, John G.; Rogers, John H.
Information asymmetry, market segmentation, and the pricing of cross-listed shares: theory and evidence from Chinese A and B shares
In contrast to most other countries, Chinese foreign class B shares trade at an average discount of about 60 percent to the prices at which domestic A shares trade. We argue that one reason for the large price discount of B shares is because foreign investors have less information on Chinese stocks than domestic investors. We develop a model, incorporating both informational asymmetry and market segmentation, and derive a relative pricing equation for A shares and B shares. We show theoretically that an A share index security, tradable by foreigners, increases the liquidity of B shares. Our empirical study of Chinese stocks supports the predictions of our model. Specifically, we show that our model-based proxies for informational asymmetry explain a significant portion of the cross-sectional variation of the B share discounts.
AUTHORS: Chakravarty, Sugato; Wu, Lifan; Sarkar, Asani
The behavior of China's stock prices in response to the proposal and approval of bonus issues
Event study analysis is applied to investigate stock price reaction to the announcement of bonus issues for the emerging stock markets of China. Results show that the issues with a high bonus ratio (number of bonus shares in the issue/number of existing shares) usually attract positive returns for both Chinese (A-share traders) and foreign (B-share traders) residents. Issues with a low bonus ratio are rewarded with negative returns for A-share traders and do not stimulate significant activity by B-share traders. The hypothesis of semi-strong form market efficiency is rejected only for small-bonus issues traded on the A-share market; the B-share market displays stronger evidence of semi-strong form market efficiency than the A-share market. Finally, there appears to be additional informational content in the approvals of bonus issues above and beyond that of the proposals, even though most bonus schedules proceed as proposed.
AUTHORS: Ma, Shiguang; Barnes, Michelle L.