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Tesfaye T. Lemma, Minga Negash



This paper examines the effect of firm-, industry-, and country-level factors on corporate ownership pattern within the context of six African countries. Based on theory, we develop multi-dimensional models and examine data pertaining to 377 non-financial firms across a time period of 15 years using a battery of econometric procedures. In the sample countries, ownership concentration and/or block shareholding increases with firm level debt maturity structure, industry regulation, and perceived level of corruption in a country and its real GDP per capita. We also find ownership concentration and/or block shareholding decreases with firm level basic capital structure, firm size, and orientation of the financial system of a country. Our findings signify the role that information asymmetries, agency conflicts, and institutional pressures play in the determination of corporate ownership patterns in developing countries. The findings have practical implications for the investment community in assessing ownership patterns of companies listed in developing countries. Furthermore, the results spark insights that are potentially useful to enhance corporate governance institutions in developing countries.

Keywords: Corporate Ownership Structure, Developing Countries, Agency Conflicts, Information Asymmetries, Institutions

How to cite this paper: Lemma, T.T., Negash, M. (2016). Corporate ownership patterns in developing countries. Corporate Ownership & Control, 13(2), 101-112.