The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of voluntary disclosure, ownership structure attributes and timely disclosure on cost of equity capital in the emerging Egyptian capital market.
A content analysis of annual reports is used to measure the extent of voluntary disclosure. Earnings announcement lag (EAL) is used to measure the quality of voluntary disclosure (i.e. timely disclosure). Finally, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) framework is used to estimate cost of equity capital.
The authors find a negative relationship between the level of voluntary disclosure and cost of equity capital. More specifically, the authors document that this association is strongly significant under high ownership dispersion, low government ownership and shorter EAL. Finally, EAL is positively associated with cost of equity capital.
The authors use the CAPM framework as a proxy for the cost of equity since forecasted earnings per share are not communicated by financial analysts in the Egyptian Stock Exchange.
The findings demonstrate for managers that the increased levels of voluntary and timely disclosure reduce the cost of external finance and improve the marketability of firms’ equities, which may directly impact growth opportunities especially when information is communicated to investors in a timely fashion. For regulators, it provides evidence that high government ownership reduces the value relevance of voluntary disclosure among investors, while free float as a proxy for high ownership dispersion improves it.
The findings show that corporate disclosure policy depends more on the managers’ incentives to provide informative annual reports than on standards and regulations. The study also represents a first attempt that demonstrates how ownership structure and timely disclosure influence the relationship between disclosure and cost of equity capital.
The authors are grateful to participants in the 35th European Accounting Association (EAA) Annual Congress – in Ljubljana, Slovenia – for their helpful comments and suggestions. The authors are also very grateful to Dr Julia Mundy the editor in chief and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier versions of the paper.
Khlif, H., Samaha, K. and Azzam, I. (2015), "Disclosure, ownership structure, earnings announcement lag and cost of equity capital in emerging markets: The case of the Egyptian stock exchange", Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 28-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAAR-06-2012-0046Download as .RIS
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