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Abdul Hadi Zulkafli, Ahmad Husni Hamzah


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This paper presents evidence on the role of ownership in dealing with corporate expropriation of listed companies in Malaysia. From the perspective of expropriation, a single controlling shareholder is always associated with such behavior due to their power and control at the expense of minority shareholder. However, subsequent individual or coalition of large shareholders can be an important corporate governance tool by providing effective monitoring that would lessen the possibility of expropriation by the controlling shareholder. Relating to that, this study evaluates the role of controlling and large shareholders in dealing with corporate expropriation. It is found that there is a negative relationship between single controlling shareholders and dividend payout ratio indicating that firms with only controlling shareholder will pay a lower dividend due to possible expropriation through profit diversion by controlling shareholder. Using Herfindahl Index as a proxy for ownership contestability, the presence of large shareholders along with controlling shareholder has a positive relationship with dividend payout implying that increased contestability helps to curb the power of controlling shareholder to expropriate fund for their own benefit. In accordance with agency theory, the outcome suggests that large shareholders play a monitoring role in minimizing the Type II agency problem. It is also verifying the argument made based on the Catering Theory of Dividend that the presence of large shareholder brings benefit to all shareholders as they are able to reduce profit diversion by demanding for higher dividend.

Keywords: Ownership Structure, Corporate Governance, Payout Policy

How to cite this paper: Zulkafli, A. H., & Hamzah, A. H. (2016). Corporate contestability and corporate expropriation. Risk governance & control: financial markets & institutions, 6(4-3), 403-409.