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Share price informativeness and dividend smoothing behavior in GCC markets

Razaz Felimban (Department of Accounting and Finance, Business School, Middlesex University, London, UK) (Department of Economics and Finance, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia)
Sina Badreddine (Department of Accounting and Finance, Middlesex University, London, UK)
Christos Floros (Department of Accounting and Finance, Hellenic Mediterranean University, Heraklion, Greece)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 28 July 2021

Issue publication date: 24 August 2022

218

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the dividend smoothing (DS) behaviour in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in emerging markets where the response to news and the economic environment are different from those of developed countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the effect of share price informativeness on DS in the GCC markets using unbalanced panel data for a sample of 628 GCC-listed firms during 1994–2016. For the regression analysis, the hypotheses are tested using panel regressions and generalised method of moments (GMM) estimation.

Findings

First, the Lintner model shows that the DS degree in GCC firms is comparable to that of a developed market. Second, and importantly, the results reveal that the DS in GCC firms is sensitive to private information of share prices. Finally, the findings indicate that information asymmetry (IA) and agency-based models affect the tendency to smooth dividends in the GCC markets.

Originality/value

This study is the first study to measure the degree of DS using data for all GCC countries. The authors also identify other determinants of DS behaviour and test the agency and IA explanations for DS in GCC-listed firms. The findings are highly recommended to financial managers and analysts dealing with the GCC markets. This study helps financial analysts to use the share price informativeness as an indicator for the presence of the IA. The study results are beneficial to researchers in understanding the relationship between DS and share price informativeness.

Keywords

Citation

Felimban, R., Badreddine, S. and Floros, C. (2022), "Share price informativeness and dividend smoothing behavior in GCC markets", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 49 No. 6, pp. 978-1001. https://doi.org/10.1108/JES-08-2020-0379

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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