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Corporate governance, economic turbulence and financial performance of UAE listed firms

Mostafa Kamal Hassan (Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Department of Accounting, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt)
Sawsan Saadi Halbouni (Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

Studies in Economics and Finance

ISSN: 1086-7376

Article publication date: 31 May 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of corporate governance mechanisms on the financial performance of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) listed firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on a sample of 95 UAE listed firms affiliated to financial and non‐financial sectors, the paper performs a cross‐section regression analysis to test whether there is a significant relationship between governance mechanisms (voluntary disclosure, CEO duality, board size, board committee and audit type) and UAE firms' performance while controlling for firm size, industry type, firm listing years and leverage. The paper relies on data published on year 2008 and utilizes the accounting‐based measures of Return on Assets (ROA), Return on Equity (ROE) as well as the market measure (Tobin's Q) in order to measure the UAE firms' financial performance.

Findings

The empirical results show that voluntary disclosure, CEO duality and board size are significantly influencing the UAE accounting‐based performance measure, while none of the governance variables significantly affects firms' market performance measure. The results also reveal that firm size is the only control variable that significantly influences firms' performance. This paper provides evidence showing that the accounting‐based performance measures are more objective in the years where unstable economic conditions exist.

Practical implications

The paper's findings indicate that the underlying principles of corporate governance are applicable in emerging markets. The findings are important to regulators, investors, managers, and researchers aiming at developing new policies that establish better regulatory infrastructure that increases investors' confidence and attracting foreign investment.

Originality/value

The paper is one of very few studies that examine the relationship between corporate governance and firms' financial performance under economic turbulent in an emerging market economy, the UAE.

Keywords

Citation

Kamal Hassan, M. and Saadi Halbouni, S. (2013), "Corporate governance, economic turbulence and financial performance of UAE listed firms", Studies in Economics and Finance, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 118-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/10867371311325435

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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