Informational Consequences of Mandatory IFRS Adoption in China

Archana Patro


In China, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have become mandatory for listed firms in 2007. While earlier research on “voluntary” adopters has provided valuable insights on the impact of IFRS disclosure, these results cannot be generalised in a mandatory setting. We expect effects from mandatory IFRS adoption to be different from those documented for voluntary IFRS adopters since the former group is essentially forced to adopt IFRS. The empirical model, relating to stock price synchronicity with adoption of IFRS, and other firm-specific control variables were analysed using both univariate and multivariate techniques. Different types of panel data estimates were used and compared so as to interpret the results with the best-suited parameters for different data sets for different markets. Studying data covering the period from 2001-2013, the present study examines whether mandatory adoption of IFRS reduces Stock Price Synchronicity for Chinese firms. The empirical results show that IFRS adoption improves information environment by the capitalization of firm-specific information into stock prices, thereby reduces the Stock Price synchronicity. The paper further examines if the information impact was homogeneous across industries. This pattern of decrease in stock price synchronicity after adoption of IFRS is different for different industries taken for analysis. Aerospace & Defense, Automobiles Beverages, Metals & Mining, Retailer& Real Estate Operations have reduced synchronicity but other industries such as Biotech, Electric utilities, Electronic, Leisure products, Renewable energy and Telecom have increased synchronicity. For these industries, the low reliance on market wide information makes reasonable economic sense because they have relatively low demand elasticity. Hence, in demand inelastic industries, future price sensitive factors remain constant and so a changed IFRS accounting regime has little marginal impact. This study provides a different methodological approach by concentrating on Industry wide information effects from the mandatory adoption. These findings have important implications that apply not only to China, but also to other emerging and transitional economies such as India where IFRS is yet to be mandated. Moreover it will help regulators, academicians and practitioners to assess the informational benefit of adopting IFRS.

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International Journal of Accounting and Financial Reporting  ISSN 2162-3082

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