Are Foreign Issuers Complying with Regulation Fair Disclosure?

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Journal Article
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, 2007, 17 (3), pp. 246 - 260
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Regulation Fair Disclosure (RFD) requires that any release of material information be made to the general public rather than to select individuals. The regulation represents an attempt by the Securities and Exchange Commission to restore a level of fairness to the market. Foreign issuers, however, are currently exempt from this rule. We examine liquidity changes around earnings announcements of American Depository Receipts (ADRs) before and after the introduction of RFD. We find that market makers have adjusted spreads to reflect the new, less information asymmetric environment for U.S. issues, but the same changes are not observed for our ADR sample. Similarly, the decline in activity measures of U.S. issues is not observed in our ADR sample. Our results suggest that investors and market makers are not yet convinced that foreign issuers are complying with RFD.
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