Elamer, Ahmed A. M. (2017) Empirical essays on risk disclosures, multi-level governance, credit ratings, and bank value: evidence from MENA banks. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis contains four essays that examine the relationships among risk disclosures, multi-level governance, credit ratings, and bank value in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) banks. These essays concentrate on four closely linked risk disclosures, and governance topics that quantitatively investigate the antecedents and informativeness of risk disclosures by banks from 14 countries in MENA region over the 2006–2013 inclusive period.

The first essay aims at investigating the impact of multi-layer governance mechanisms on the level of risk disclosures by banks. The essay result suggests a variation between MENA banks in the level of risk disclosures with a significant improvement from 2006 to 2013. Specifically, the findings are three-fold. First, the results suggest that Sharia Supervisory Board (SSB) is positively associated with the level of risk disclosures by banks. Second and at the bank-level, the essay finds that ownership (governmental ownership and family ownership) and board (board size and non-executive directors) structures have a positive effect on the level of risk disclosures by banks, whilst CEO duality is negative, but insignificantly related to bank risk disclosures. At the country-level, the evidence suggests that control of corruption has a positive effect on the level of bank risk disclosures, whilst political stability and absence of violence have a negative, but insignificant association with the level of bank risk disclosures.

In the second essay, the thesis investigates the relationships among national governance quality (NGQM), Islamic governance quality (ISGQ), including other bank-level governance mechanisms, and risk management and disclosure practices (RMDPs); and consequently ascertains whether NGQM has a moderating influence on the ISGQ -RMDPs nexus. The findings are four-fold. Firstly, this study finds that RMDPs are higher in banks from countries with higher NGQM. Secondly, this essay shows that RMDPs are higher in banks with better Islamic governance. Thirdly, the study finds that board size and non-executive directors have a positive effect on the level of RMDPs. Finally, this study finds evidence that suggests that NGQM has a moderating effect on the Islamic governance quality-RMDPs nexus.

The third essay explores whether RMDPs have a predictive effect (informativeness) on banks’ credit ratings (BCRs); and consequently ascertains whether governance structures can moderate such an association. The findings suggest that RMDPs have a predictive effect on BCRs. The study finds that the quality of the BCR is higher in banks that have higher risk disclosures, board size, government ownership, board independence, women directors and established SSB. On the other hand, the results indicate that the BCR quality is lower in banks that have higher foreign ownership, and CEO role duality. Furthermore, the findings suggest that governance structures moderate the relation between RMDPs and BCRs.

The final essay examines the extent to which RMDPs and multi-level governance can explain observable changes in bank value in a number of ways. First, this essay seeks to examine whether RMDPs can influence the value of banks. The second objective is to examine how NGQM may affect the bank value. Finally, this essay explores the relationship between operating in better- or poorly-governed countries and the market value of banks. The results confirm the substantial role of risk disclosures and multi-level governance in improving bank valuation in MENA. More specifically, the results indicate that market valuation is higher in banks with bigger foreign ownership, board size, board independence, Islamic governance, and NGQM. The results also show a significant negative relationship between CEO power and bank value.

The research’s empirical findings are largely in line with the predictions of the multi-theoretical framework that incorporates insights from agency, signalling, legitimacy, institutional, and resource dependence theories. The study findings are robust to alternative firm- and country-level controls, alternative multi-level governance mechanisms, risk disclosure proxies, alternative estimation techniques, and endogeneity problems.

In doing so, this study extends, as well as contributes to the banking and governance literature in a number of ways. First, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, this thesis provides a first-time cross-country evidence on the level of risk disclosures in MENA countries, especially following the 2007/08 financial crisis in the banking industry. Second, this thesis offers first-time evidence on the informativeness of Islamic governance quality and risk disclosures from equity and debt markets. Third, this thesis offers evidence and extends prior research on the influence of multi-level governance on bank value, and credit ratings, using a multi-theoretical framework. Fourth, the study offers first-time evidence on the effect of national governance quality on banks’ risk disclosures, credit ratings, and bank value.

__nas01_librhome_librsh3_Desktop_FINAL THESIS.pdf - Accepted Version
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