Privatization and Governance Regulation in Frontier Emerging Markets: the Case of Romania


Gilles Chemla Adrian Pop Diana Pop

We investigate the link between the regulation of control transactions and the institutional and corporate features of public companies, by analyzing the massive delisting activity in the Romanian capital market. The peculiar ownership reforms involving a large number of listed companies offer a unique opportunity to test Bebchuk and Roe’s (2000) theory of path dependence. Over time, the Romanian authorities have undertaken wide-ranging institutional reforms, most of which favoring blockholders over small and dispersed shareholders.Our empirical approach, based on logit and duration models, allows us to analyze the evolution of public companies over this period and sheds light on the likely events causing the eclipse of frontier emerging markets.Our main findings reveal that delisting is more likely to occur when (i) the shareholdings acquired from the privatization authority by circumventing the capital market are high; (ii) the company experiences frequent takeover bids; and (iii) the stock liquidity is low.

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