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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2018

Mostafa Kamal Hassan, Bassam Abu Abbas and Samy Nathan Garas

This paper aims to examine the relationship between the readability of annual reports and corporate performance in Qatari listed firms while controlling for a firm’s competitive…

1546

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationship between the readability of annual reports and corporate performance in Qatari listed firms while controlling for a firm’s competitive position, governance structure and specific features such as size, age and industry type.

Design/methodology/approach

This study relies on both agency theory and legitimacy theory to develop testable hypotheses. It uses a sample of 126 firm-year listed companies in the Qatar Stock Exchange to test obfuscation in the annual reports through examining the association between the readability of Narrative Disclosures (NDs) and corporate profitability, financial risk and agency costs for the period from 2014-2016.

Findings

The findings show that firms with higher annual report readability are more profitable and have lower agency costs, which is an indication of the existence of “obfuscation.” Qatari firms may use narrative complexity as a disclosure strategy to enhance their image and consequently maintain their social legitimacy.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study findings suffer from limited global generalization, they can be generalized across Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Thus, future cross-country research is encouraged.

Practical implications

The findings encourage Qatari policymakers to instate a policy for “Plain English” writing to make NDs easy to read by international investors.

Originality/value

This study is one of very few studies that examines the readability of annual reports in emerging market economies, i.e. Qatar. The study contributes to the paucity of research that examines English-written annual reports in non-English speaking countries.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Samy Nathan Garas

The purpose of this study is to identify the relation between the conflicts of interest in the Shari'a Supervisory Board (SSB) in the Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) and six…

3022

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the relation between the conflicts of interest in the Shari'a Supervisory Board (SSB) in the Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) and six independent variables: the SSB executive position, the SSB remuneration, the relation between the SSB members and the Board of Directors (BoD), and the multiple memberships in Islamic funds, issuers of Islamic bonds (Sukuk), and companies trading in capital markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The variables are articulated in six hypotheses and tested by ordinary least square regression. The data were collected via a questionnaire which was sent to the shareholders, the BoD, and the SSB members of all of the IFIs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Findings

The results indicate that the SSB executive position, the relation between the SSB members and the BoDs, and the membership in Islamic funds and issuers of Islamic bonds are significantly related to the conflicts of interest, whereas remuneration and membership in companies trading in capital markets have insignificant relation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not address the impact of SSB ownership in the IFIs, or the relation between the SSB and the shareholders, or the impact of the corporate governance codes on the relationship between the IFI and the SSB.

Practical implications

The study recommends testing the hypotheses in other geographies to generalize the results, and measuring the impact of the SSB ownership on the conflicts of interest as well as its relation with shareholders, regulators, and clients.

Social implications

The paper provides practical implications to the SSB members and the BoD in the IFIs and calls for setting a maximum number of SSBs for each SSB member.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature gap of the SSB role in the governance of IFIs. It is believed to be one of first studies that provide empirical evidence about the SSB conflicts of interest in the IFIs of the GCC region.

Details

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8394

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2010

Samy Nathan Garas and Chris Pierce

The governance structure of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) implements Islamic canon law (Shari'a) into business transactions through Shari'a supervision processes. This…

3266

Abstract

Purpose

The governance structure of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) implements Islamic canon law (Shari'a) into business transactions through Shari'a supervision processes. This paper aims to define Shari'a supervision and examine Shari'a supervisory councils (both within and outside the Central Bank), Shari'a consulting firms, Shari'a advisors, and Shari'a Supervisory Boards (SSB). It also discusses the importance of the hierarchical position of SSBs and evaluates their objectives and functions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews a wide range of theoretical literatures especially recent proceedings of relevant conferences in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries along with the standards of the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). A framework for understanding the role of the SSB is developed suggesting a set of objectives and functions for the SSB.

Findings

The paper finds a lack of standardization among the IFIs concerning the position of the SSB within the corporate hierarchy. Moreover, the SSB is found to control the IFIs activities more than the other types of Shari'a supervision such as Shari'a consulting firms and Shari'a advisors.

Research limitations/implications

The research focuses exclusively on the GCC countries and excludes the other Middle East and Far East countries where Shari'a supervision might have different forms.

Social implications

The research provides guidelines for IFIs in defining the SSB role in their governance structure and recommends the SSB among the other forms of Shari'a supervision (Shari'a consulting firms and Shari'a advisors) in controlling the IFIs activities.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature gap about the governance of IFIs. It is one of the first studies that provide a conceptual foundation for the SSB role in the governance structure of IFIs.

Details

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1358-1988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Samy Nathan Garas

The Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) maintain better control over their transactions than conventional financial institutions (CFIs) through the existence of Shari'a…

1659

Abstract

Purpose

The Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) maintain better control over their transactions than conventional financial institutions (CFIs) through the existence of Shari'a Supervisory Board (SSB) and Shari'a Control Department (SCD). The purpose of this paper is to highlight the superiority of Shari'a supervision over external audit and Shari'a audit over internal audit. The study identifies five independent variables that affect the SSB control: ex‐ante Shari'a audit; ex‐post Shari'a audit; SCD reporting to the SSB; corrective actions of SSB towards the management violations; and the number of SSB members.

Design/methodology/approach

The variables are articulated in five hypotheses, which are tested by ordinary least square regression. The data are collected via a questionnaire which was sent to the SSB members of 219 IFIs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Findings

The results indicate that ex‐ante Shari'a audit, ex‐post Shari'a audit, and reporting of SCD are significantly related to the SSB control, whereas corrective actions and the number of SSB members have insignificant relation.

Research limitations/implications

The research is focused on internal factors only, without considering other external factors such as stakeholders and regulators. Also, the research covered the GCC region alone.

Practical implications

The research recommends testing the hypotheses in other geographies to generalize the results, and including external factors as well as shareholders and board of directors.

Social implications

The research provides practical implications for the SCD role and calls for merging the SCD with the traditional internal audit department to reduce the excessive work of controlling.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature gap about the SSB. It is believed to be one of few studies that provide empirical evidence about the SSB control in the IFIs of the GCC region.

Details

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8394

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

197

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8394

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

M. Kabir Hassan

199

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8394

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

M. Kabir Hassan

392

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8394

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