Does Ownership Identity of Blockholders Matter: An Empirical Analysis of Publicly Listed Companies in New Zealand

Krishna Reddy KR, Sazali Abidin, Wei He, Paresha Sinha


Purpose – This study explores the nature of the relationships between ownership concentration, ownership identity, and financial performance in publicly listed companies in New Zealand. This study also investigates whether the ownership-performance nexus changes during the financial crisis period.

Design/method/approach –panel data for the publicly listed companies for the period 2003 to 2009 obtained from NZX Deep Archive and the dynamic panel generalized method of moments (GMM)regression analysis was used to test the influence of ownership concentration, ownership identity on financial performance measured by Tobin’s Qandreturn on assets (ROA).

Findings –Our findings support the view that ownership concentration affects financial performance. Results show that a higher ownership concentration leads to a lower market-based performance (measured by Tobin’s Q) and higher accounting-based performance (measured by ROA). We also foundevidence of owner identity having an impact on financial performance of the publicly listed companies in New Zealand. More “detached” level owners (institutional investors) have positive effect on market-based performance but negative effect on accounting-based performance. Whereas, more “involved” level owners (corporate investors) have negative effect on market-based performance. Our evidence shows that the effectownership identity have had on the financial performance declined during thefinancial crisis period due to the fact that different types of owners reduced their ownership concentration levels, thus resulting in a reduction in their social influence and expertise powers.

Originality/value –Our findings contribute to our understanding regarding the nature of the relationships between ownership concentration, ownershipidentity,andfinancial performance. Our findings support the view that the identity of the shareholder(s) do matter in terms of company financial performance. We also report that corporate holdings are the most common type of investor holding in the New Zealand context.

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Asian Journal of Finance & Accounting ISSN 1946-052X


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