Surprises of corporate governance and Russian firms debt
Our paper investigates the effects of corporate governance features on the cost of publicly traded debt in the Russian market after the global financial crisis. We consider a wide range of corporate governance mechanisms and focus our analysis on three elements relevant for emerging capital markets: state-owned bond issuers, auditor power (Big 4 or local firms) and CEO power. As control variables, we consider financial and non-financial indicators of bond issuers, including proxies of intellectual capital and transparency indicators, characteristics of bond issues, structure and size of the Board of Directors. We apply linear and multiplication regressions for unbalanced panel data.
The original result is that, in the case of a sole executive body, bond spreads are higher. We find an inverse relation between the ex-post cost of public debt and audit power. The analysis also revealed a robust result that disclosing information on intangible assets and a larger Board of Directors reduce debtholder risks. According to our findings, debtholders take into account the risk of the influence of CEOs of large companies on local auditors, while for international auditors such influence is less possible. These results are robust to a large set of firm-specific and bondspecific characteristics.