Value-relevance of financial statements: Evidence from A- and B- share markets in China

Chelsea Liu, Graeme Gould*, Barry Burgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The Chinese capital markets are divided into two segments comprising of A-shares (traded by domestic investors) and B-shares (traded by foreign investors). Firms issuing A-shares are required to produce accounting reports under the Chinese Accounting Standards (CAS) and firms issuing B-shares are required to report under the International Accounting Standards (IAS). The purpose of this paper is to investigate the comparative value-relevance of accounting information in the Chinese capital markets, in particular whether the value-relevance associated IAS exceeds that of CAS. Design/methodology/approach: This study undertakes a capital market research approach. Two statistical models are employed to test the value-relevance of competing accounting information on share prices: the Price Model and the Return Model. This study takes advantage of the parallel reporting frameworks governing the A-share and B-share markets buy using the same firms which issue both A-shares and B-shares. Findings: The analysis supporting the study demonstrates that both CAS and IAS information is value relevant to investors in the Chinese capital markets but that IAS provide more useful information. Additionally it is observed that reconciliation variables (representing the discrepancy between IAS- and CAS-based accounting figures) are not significant in explaining market valuation or returns on stock. Research limitations/implications: This study provides evidence of value-relevance of accounting reports on the Chinese capital markets for the period of 1999-2005. The period under investigation captures the significant development in China's accounting regulations which took place in 1998 and 2001. The recent shift in accounting regulations in China from CAS to IAS is expected to improve the dissemination of financial information by publicly listed Chinese firms. Practical implications: This study investigates the reporting requirements on the Chinese capital markets during a period in which accounting reporting requirements underwent a significant change as part of the internationalization of accounting standards. Both A- and B-share markets were investigated simultaneously in order to provide an objective analysis and avoid sampling selection bias present in other studies. Social implications: The recent shift in accounting regulations in China from CAS to IAS is expected to improve the dissemination of financial information by publicly listed Chinese firms. Originality/value: This paper extends previous research on value-relevance of accounting reports in the Chinese capital markets by capturing the period in which the reporting requirements had experienced significant change. This paper also takes advantage of the dual reporting framework in order to mitigate potential sampling bias present in previous studies and employs a reconciliation variables not previously used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-367
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Managerial Finance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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