• 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.
    • Does capital market drive corporate investment efficiency? Evidence from equity lending supply

      Tsai, H.-J.; Wu, Yuliang; Xu, B. (2021-08)
      The increased equity lending supply (ELS) in the equity loan market, available for short sellers to borrow, exposes a firm to greater short selling threats. Considering short sellers’ strong incentives to uncover firm-specific information and monitor managers, we hypothesize that short selling threats, proxied by ELS, enhance corporate investment efficiency. We find that ELS significantly reduces managerial tendencies to underinvest (overinvest) especially for firms prone to underinvest (overinvest). The effect of ELS on investment efficiency is stronger for firms with higher information asymmetry and weaker corporate governance, confirming short sellers’ role in mitigating information and agency costs. However, short selling risk weakens the effect of ELS. Our evidence is robust to endogeneity checks and suggests that corporate investment can be driven by a particular capital market condition: the amount of lendable shares in the equity loan market.
    • Identifying the relative importance of stock characteristics in the UK market

      French, D.; Wu, Yuliang; Li, Y. (2016-03)
      There is no consensus in the literature as to which stock characteristic best explains returns. In this study, we employ a novel econometric approach better suited than the traditional characteristic sorting method to answer this question for the UK market. We evaluate the relative explanatory power of market, size, momentum, volatility, liquidity and book-to-market factors in a semiparametric characteristic-based factor model which does not require constructing characteristic portfolios. We find that momentum is the most important factor and liquidity is the least important based on their relative contribution to the fit of the model and the proportion of sample months for which factor returns are significant. Our evidence supports the view that irrational investor behaviour may drive stock returns.
    • 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.
    • Liquidity skewness in the London Stock Exchange

      Hsieh, T-H.; Li, Y.; McKillop, D.G.; Wu, Yuliang (2018-03)
      We study liquidity on the London Stock Exchange. We find that the average bid-ask spread declines, but that the skewness of the spread increases. These results are robust to firm size, trading volume and price level. Our findings hold when the bid-ask spread is estimated utilising high frequency data. We find that the bid-ask spread prior to earnings announcements dates is significantly higher than that of post earnings announcements, suggesting that asymmetric information has driven the increase in liquidity skewness. We also find that the effect of earnings announcements is more pronounced in the 2007 global financial crisis, consistent with the notion that extreme market downturns amplify asymmetric information. Our overall evidence also implies that increased competition and transparent trading environments limit market makers' abilities to cross-subsidize bid-ask spreads between periods of high and low levels of asymmetric information.
    • Long-Term Industry Reversals

      Wu, Yuliang; Mazouz, Khelifa (2016-07-01)
      This study investigates whether, how and why industry performance can drive long-term return reversals. Using data from the UK, we find that firms in losing industries significantly outperform those in winning industries over the subsequent five years. These industry reversals remain strong and persistent after controlling for stock momentum, industry momentum, seasonal effects and traditional risk factors. We find a strong influence of past industry performance on stock return reversals. Our results also show that past industry performance is the driving force behind long-term reversals. Specifically, we find that industry components drive stock reversals, while past stock performance does not explain industry reversals. Further analysis suggests that industry reversals are present in both good and bad states of the economy and are stronger in industries with high valuation uncertainty. This implies that industry reversals are more likely to be a result of mispricing.
    • Trading activity in options and stock around price-sensitive announcements

      Mazouz, Khelifa; Wu, Yuliang; Yin, S. (2015-12)
      This study investigates the trading activity in options and stock markets around informed events with extreme daily stock price movements. We find that informed agents are more likely to trade options prior to negative news and stocks ahead of positive news. We also show that optioned stocks overreact to the arrival of negative news, but react efficiently to positive news. However, the overreaction patterns are unique to the subsample of stocks with the lowest pre‐event abnormal option/stock volume ratio (O/S). This finding suggests that the incremental benefit of option listing is related to the level of option trading activity, over and beyond the presence of an options market on the firm’s stock. Finally, we find that the pre‐event abnormal O/S is a better predictor of stock price patterns following a negative shock than is the pre‐event O/S, implying that the former may contain more information about the future value of stocks than the latter.
    • Why do firm fundamentals predict returns? Evidence from short selling activity

      Mazouz, K.; Wu, Yuliang (Elsvier, 2022-01)
      This study uses short selling activity to test whether the relation between fundamentals and future returns is due to rational pricing or mispricing. We find that short sellers target firms with fundamental performance below market expectations. We also show that short selling activity reduces the return predictability of fundamentals by speeding up the price adjustments to negative fundamental signals. To further investigate whether the returns earned by short sellers reflect rational risk premia or mispricing, we exploit a natural experiment, namely Regulation of SHO, which creates exogenous shocks to short selling by temporarily relaxing short-sale constraints. Evidence from the experiment confirms that the superior returns to short sellers result from exploiting overpricing. Overall, our study suggests that the return predictability of fundamentals reflects mispricing rather than rational risk premia.