Author: Lo, Hok-leung Ronnie
Title: An empirical study of the characteristics of Hong Kong listed companies that practised discretionary segmental disclosure
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Corporation reports -- China -- Hong Kong
Line of business reporting -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Department of Accountancy
Pages: iv, 139, [30] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Research on segment disclosure has been conducted mainly with U.S. data, using American corporations or multi-national corporations as objects of investigation. Voluntary segmental disclosure is basically a management decision, which has its cultural biases. What is generally considered as usual disclosure practice in the developed, advanced economies like the U.S., U.K., or Europe may not find equal acceptance in other non-western economic systems. In my thesis, I examine segmental disclosure practices of listed firms in the Hong Kong market. With the pronouncement of SSAP 26 Segment Reporting, the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA) is determined to harmonize its regulatory requirements on segment reporting with international accounting standards. Except for some geographical terms, SSAP 26 is almost identical to IAS No.14 'Segment Reporting' issued by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). This study examines the characteristics of Hong Kong listed companies regarding their voluntary segment disclosure practices before the official commencement of SSAP 26. Like extant research findings, I find that firm size in terms of total assets, its leverage in terms of debt/equity ratio, the number of industries it operates in, and analysts' forecast errors of the firm's earnings from the previous year are all positively related to the number of segments voluntarily disclosed in the current year. However, the current year number of analysts following the firm and the percentage of block share holding by institutional investors are negatively related to the number of disclosed segments of that year. I also find that the difference of a Hong Kong firm's monthly average stock return over its industrial norm is positively related to the firm's market capitalized value and the additional institutional interest in the firm. However, the average monthly stock return differential is also found to be negatively associated with the number of analysts contemporarily following the firm and the percentage of block share holding owned by the institutional investors. The two negative relationships are contrary to the conventional expectations based on the studies using mainly U.S. firms' data. One possible conclusion is that Hong Kong firms are culturally different. Consistent with the findings of other researchers using Hong Kong data, I find that firms in Hong Kong tend to be secretive. My study contributes, evidence to Gray's theory (Gray 1988) that the influence of culture on accounting is important in understanding cross-country differences. My findings help shed light on the notion that accounting is culturally driven, despite the well-intended global accounting standard harmonization movement.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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