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Working paper

Possible impact of corporate governance profile on a Russian bank valuation

Vernikov A. V., Bokov V. A.

This paper aims at explaining the differences in valuation of banking firms in Russia through the impact of selected elements of corporate governance. We rely upon value-based management theory to test the hypothesis that expenses on corporate governance system create shareholder value. The price at which share stakes are acquired by strategic foreign investors is for us a criterion of market-proven value, so we use the standard valuation tool, i.e. price-to-book-value of equity (P/BV) multiple, as the dependent variable. The set of corporate governance parameters whose materiality for a would-be external investor we would like to test includes: the degree of concentration of ownership and control; maturity of corporate governing bodies; degree of Board independence; qualification of external auditors; stability of governing bodies (Management Board and Board of Directors); and availability of external credit ratings from the world’s leading rating agencies. We test our approach on a sample of acquisition deals and public offerings over the period 2004-2008 that we develop for the first time. Firstly, we find out which factors are statistically significant and relevant to a bank’s selling price. Secondly, a least squares multiple linear regression model is devised to check how each individual variable impacts the dependent variable. We discover that external investors attach value to high concentration of ownership, external credit rating coverage, stability of the Board of Directors, and involvement of well-established external auditors. Investors of a strategic nature tend to pay a higher acquisition premium. Independence of the Board of Directors might be perceived by external strategic investors as a disadvantage and might destroy shareholder value.