• Cost performance of public infrastructure projects: the nemesis and nirvana of change-orders

      Love, P.E.D.; Irani, Zahir; Smith, J.; Regan, M.; Liu, J. (2017)
      The cost performance of a wide range of public sector infrastructure projects completed by a contractor are analysed and discussed. Change-orders after a contract to construct an asset was signed were, on average, found to contribute to a 23.75% increase in project costs. A positive association between an increase in change orders and the contractor’s margin were identified. Taxpayers pay for this additional cost, while those charged with constructing assets are rewarded with an increase in their margins. As the public sector embraces an era of digitisation, there is a need to improve the integration of design and construction activities and engender collaboration to ensure assets can be delivered cost effectively and future-proofed. The research paper provides empirical evidence for the public sector to re-consider the processes that are used to deliver their infrastructure assets so as to reduce the propensity for cost overruns and enable future-proofing to occur.
    • Do seasoned offerings improve the performance of issuing firms? Evidence from China

      Zhang, D.; Wu, Yuliang; Ye, Q.; Liu, J. (2019-03)
      This study provides new evidence that the performance of issuing firms varies by issue type, based on survival analysis methods. Our non-parametric results show that firms raising capital through rights issues, and notably through cash offers, experience a greater risk of delisting following issuance, as compared to those issuing convertible bonds. Our Cox model analyses demonstrate that plain equity issues, in contrast to convertible issues, are subject to different degrees of regulatory discipline, obligations and incentives in shaping survival trajectory. Further, high ownership concentration, agency issues intrinsic to equity offerings, weak shareholders' protection, and corporate ownership and governance and corporate control development at the time of an offer markedly influence post-issue survival. Plain equity issues, notably cash offers, are strongly linked with the agency costs of free cash flows. A large and truly independent board, allied to a separation of CEO and chairman powers, acts as a primary restraint on managers' self-interested behaviour. Such a cohesive governance mechanism can restrain rent-seeking in the firm's fundraising initiative. These observations hold when we take into account information available before an issue, at the time of an issue, and after an issue, demonstrating the robustness of our findings.
    • Institutional preferences, demand shocks and the distress anomaly

      Ye, Q.; Wu, Yuliang; Liu, J. (2019-01)
      Our paper examines the distress anomaly on the Chinese stock markets. We show that the anomaly disappears after controlling for institutional ownership. We propose two hypotheses. The growing scale of institutional investors and changes in institutional preferences can generate greater demand shocks for stocks with low distress risk than those with high distress risk, causing the former to outperform the latter. Consistent with our hypotheses, the growth of institutions explains the anomaly when the institutional market share increases rapidly. We also show that institutional preferences for stocks with low distress risk have significantly increased over time and changes in preferences also explain the anomaly. Finally, momentum trading and gradual incorporation of distress information cannot account for the anomaly.
    • Market reaction to seasoned offerings in China

      Liu, J.; Akbar, Saeed; Shah, S.Z.A.; Zhang, D.; Pang, D. (2016-06)
      This study examines stock market reaction to the announcement of various forms of seasoned issues in China. Our empirical evidence demonstrates that market reactions differ in ways that suggest a difference between management's internal assessment and the market's assessment of the stock price. The market responds unfavourably to the announcement, notably in the case of rights issues and also with regard to open offers. Private placements experience an unfavourable pre‐announcement reaction, which contrasts with the favourable reaction after the event. Convertible bond issues generate positive excess returns consistent with the market's confidence that they can help to align management and shareholders’ interests. Further investigation shows that market reaction is related to factors specific to the issuer and issue by reference to the period immediately surrounding the issue. Specifically, ownership concentration, agency matters connected with equity offerings, investor protection connected with fund allocation and security pricing, and the influence of powerful moneyed interests together provide an instructive insight into market reaction. Institutional inefficiency pertaining to underwriting, auditing, analysts’ forecasts and credit ratings are found to have a weak association with market price, consistent with due public scepticism concerning management and their gatekeepers.