Institutional ownership, cross-shareholdings and corporate cash reserves in Japan

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Accounting and Finance, 2020, 60, (S1), pp. 1175-1207
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© 2018 Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Cross-country studies document a negative relation between corporate governance and cash holdings. In contrast, this relation is found to be positive in the United States. In this paper, we examine the case of Japanese firms. Using institutional ownership and cross-shareholdings as the main governance variables, we show that better governance is associated with higher cash balances as in the United States. The reason is that better-governed firms make better investment decisions. Their investments are not driven by excess liquidity and result in higher profitability and higher firm valuation. Overall, our findings indicate that management profligacy is a bigger concern to shareholders than management propensity to hoard cash because of risk aversion.
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