Ownership, Governance, and Bank Performance:
Korean Experience


  • Sungho Choi,

  • Iftekhar Hasan


The paper examines the effect of ownership and governance on firm performance. Tracing the post financial crisis experience, 1998–2002, of the Korean commercial bank industry, the paper investigates whether the involvement of foreign investors in the ownership structure had any significant effect on the banks’ performance i.e., return and risk measures. Further, it examines the effects of the presence of outside directors, especially directors from foreign countries, in the corporate board structure impacts banks performance. Evidence indicates that the extent of the foreign ownership level, not the mere existence of foreign ownership, has a significant positive association with the bank return and a significant negative association with the bank risk. The number of outside board of directors does not have any significant affect on performance however the presence of a foreign director on that board is significantly associated with bank return and risk. These findings are relatively robust under the different specifications of performance measures.