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Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business


This study examines the effect of managerial ownership on firm value in capital markets where outside governance mechanisms to discipline managers are weak or non-existent. We hypothesize that strong market forces in the U.S. confound the effect of managerial ownership on f irm value, i.e., the convergence of interest argument. We test the hypothesis using data from 112 firms from Singapore Stock Exchange and 205 firms from the Stock Exchange of Thailand prior to the Asian financial crisis in 1997 when the market forces were weak, yet the investor protection was sufficient to prevent outright appropriation from management. For ease of comparison, we use methodologies from studies done on the U.S. sample firms during the same study period as ours. We find that, both in Singapore and Thailand, firm value is a function of managerial ownership, and the relation is of the famous inverted U-shaped. Moreover, the relation is robust under different model specifications. The results from Thai sample, with weaker market forces than in Singapore, lend support to many agency cost hypotheses advanced in the U.S. Our results provide useful implication for investors in emerging and frontier markets where outside governance mechanisms are yet to be fully developed.