Capital market effects of adoption of IFRS
This thesis examines the impact of adoption of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) on two aspects of the operation of capital markets. Firstly, the impact of adoption of IFRS on financial reporting comparability, market liquidity, and cost of capital. Secondly, the impact of adoption of IFRS on seasoned equity offering (SEO) underperformance. To examine the impact of adoption of IFRS on financial reporting comparability, market liquidity, and cost of capital, the study used meta-analysis of empirical studies published since 2000. Meta-analysis provides an objective view of the empirical results, in contrast to narrative reviews, which offer subjective conclusions. From meta-analysis of 55 empirical studies with 1,259 effect sizes, the study finds that IFRS adoption has increased financial reporting comparability, market liquidity, and reduced cost of equity. For cost of debt, a decrease is observed only for voluntary adoption. The meta-regression analysis shows how the results differ across mandatory and voluntary adoption of IFRS and that the measurement choices, type of control variables, study design, and strength of empirical results explain the variation in the observed effect of adoption of IFRS. To examine the impact of adoption of IFRS on SEO underperformance the study analyses a large sample of SEOs from 51 countries over the period 1992-2017. Given that the empirical literature on SEOs has established that information asymmetry contributes to SEO underperformance, it is important to assess whether adoption of IFRS has reduced the uncertainties surrounding SEOs and, thus, subsequent underperformance. The study employs a control sample of non-IFRS adoption countries and applies a difference-in-difference (DiD) design to test for the incremental change for IFRS adoption countries over non-IFRS adoption countries. The study finds that SEO underperformance reduces for IFRS adopters relative to non-IFRS adopters in the post-adoption period. The reduction in SEO underperformance is influenced by increased disclosure, increased comparability, and number of accounting changes. The study also finds that the impact of adoption of IFRS on SEO underperformance exists only for firms in countries with strong enforcement, and is conditional on the implementation credibility of countries. The findings are robust to the application of a different measure of SEO underperformance. Overall, the study suggests that IFRS has had a positive impact on capital markets. However, increased disclosure, comparability, and credible implementation play important roles in realising the benefits of adoption of IFRS. Thus, policymakers of weak enforcement countries are encouraged to strengthen their institutional environment in order to reap the benefits that adoption of IFRS can provide to their capital market.