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Keywords:

  • Overseas mergers and acquisitions;
  • Event study;
  • Go Global
  • G34;
  • F21;
  • O25;
  • O53

Abstract

It is well known that government plays an important role in the business activities of Chinese firms. Less certain is the effect this influence has on the wealth of those firms’ shareholders. We contribute to the literature by analysing stock market reactions to announcements by Chinese firms of overseas mergers and acquisitions (OMAs). OMAs are of particular interest because there can exist a conflict between the interests of the public sector in acquiring overseas assets, and the interests of the private sector in maximizing shareholder wealth. Our main dataset consists of 213 observations of 157 OMA events that occurred between 1994 and 2009, using share market returns from the Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and US markets. The aggregation of share price data across multiple markets, and the listing of firms in multiple exchanges, raise econometric issues for the standard event-study methodology. To address these, we use a new, feasible generalized least squares (GLS) procedure developed by Gu and Reed (2012). On the basis of an analysis using both aggregated and disaggregated samples, and of daily and cumulative abnormal returns, we find consistent evidence that (i) Chinese OMAs have not lowered the wealth of shareholders of Chinese acquiring firms, and (ii) shareholders of Chinese acquiring firms have not fared worse under under China's ‘Go Global’ policy of encouraging outward investment by Chinese firms.