The Differential Impact of IFRS Adoption on Aspects of Seasoned Equity Offerings in the UK and France

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Abstract

We examine the potential for IFRS to influence the market for SEOs in the UK and France. The divergence between the UK domestic accounting standards and IFRS is minor (low-divergence firms) whereas domestic accounting standards in France differ materially from IFRS (high-divergence firms); however, both countries have similar legal enforcement and institutional settings that might confound the effect of IFRS adoption. We argue that IFRS adoption serves to mitigate information asymmetry and improve accounting quality. Accordingly, we find that, following IFRS adoption, earnings management activities decrease among high-divergence firms prior to issuing SEOs. As a result of the lower levels of earnings management and information asymmetry, we predict and find that the market reaction to issuing SEOs improves significantly for high-divergence firms following IFRS. Given that equity financing becomes less costly, we find that the propensity to issue new SEOs increases among high-divergence firms after IFRS adoption. We find no similar changes among low-divergence firms. The results persist after running a matched-sample analysis and controlling for potential self-selection bias.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting in Europe
Early online date16 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018