Using a large sample of Japanese firms, we examine informational effects of the joint ownership of debt and equity by financial institutions. In particular, we argue that shareholdings by financial institutions are associated with increased monitoring and reduced information asymmetry. Our results support the hypothesis that stock prices incorporate information about future earnings earlier for firms with higher equity ownership by financial institutions. In a nutshell, shareholdings by financial institutions appear to be an important institutional factor in Japan to alleviate information asymmetry, thereby serving as a substitute for the market-based monitoring.
- Financial institutions
- Information asymmetry
- Joint ownership of debt and equity
- Return-earnings relation
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