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Title: Financial fraud in Chinese stock exchange listed companies
Author: Yang, Dan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 4141
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis develops an analysis of the prevalence and determinants of financial fraud as identified in the Chinese listed firms over the period 1996 to 2007. First, theoretical analysis on the determinants of financial fraud, from its subjective, objective and conditional aspects, provides an understanding of why financial fraud happened as it did.  The conditional aspect (corporate governance mechanisms) is highlighted since it is controllable in reducing the probability of fraudulent reporting.  Data from the Chinese stock market is accessed, organised, and analyzed to support the analysis. Second, the prevalence and nature of fraud uncovered in the supervision of listed companies in Chinese stock exchanges is identified.  From data reported by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the incidence and prevalence of cases of fraud identified through regulation is investigated. I show how fraudulent activity can be categorised, how its nature has evolved over time, how business sectors are differentially prone to fraud, and what modes of fraudulent activity have been recorded. Third, the key interest of this research lies in the investigation of the argument that companies are more, or less, prone to fraudulent reporting by reason of:  Their ownership structure; Their corporate governance characteristics; and/or Their numerical characteristics in financial reporting. 82 fraudulent financial statements from 40 listed companies identified by the China Securities Regulatory Commission are selected as the study sample, and 82 control peers are selected, to correspond to the study sample as closely as possible, regarding the assets size and industries.  Findings challenge the conventional arguments which have been supported based on data from western countries.  Conventional arguments show financial fraud is associated with weakness of governance in western companies (e.g. Beasley et al., 2000) and with patterns of ownership that would indicate reduced agency control by shareholders.  However, my finding reveals that in China ownership concentration is negatively associated with reported fraud; and as for some oft-discussed corporate governance characteristics (e.g. the supervisory board, audit committee, independent directors), the fraud firms and their non-fraud peers are not statistically distinct, suggesting that corporate governance mechanisms that are designed to reduce the probability of financial fraud fail to work in the Chinese market.  The negative results in this research contribute by updating our understanding of the determinants of financial statement fraud; the supervision of China’s equity markets; and whether it can be considered effective in uncovering financial fraud.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Corporations ; Fraud ; Fraud investigation