This research aims at investigating the factors determining the dividend payout policy in the Lebanese banks listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange. This study considers the impact of seven variables, namely, profitability, liquidity, leverage, firm size, growth, firm risk and previous year's dividend payout on the dividend payout ratios by using an unbalanced panel dataset of listed banks between the years of 2005 and 2011. Two models were tested using the OLS and the dynamic panel regressions. Empirical results show that the dividend payout policies are positively affected by the firm size, risk and previous year's dividends, but are negatively affected by the opportunity growth and profitability. The results obtained might indicate that firms pay dividends with the intention of reducing the agency conflicts. Furthermore, managers take into consideration the stability of dividends while determining the dividend policy. Moreover, the results suggest that the Lebanese listed firms prefer to invest their earnings to grow rather than to pay more dividends.
As reporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) information is not yet mandatory in all countries, it is intriguing to understand ESG’s underlying driving mechanisms. This study aims to investigate ESG determinants in the banking sector of the Middle East and North Africa countries.
The authors gather data for 38 listed banks for the period 2011–2019. The data used is threefold as follows: data related to ESG; firm-level; and country-level data. While ESG and firm’s level data are taken from Refinitiv, country-level data are extracted from the World Bank. Using panel regression, the authors test the effect of firm- and country-specific variables on the overall ESG score and its pillars.
Results indicate that banks’ ESG scores are negatively affected by performance and positively affected by size. The level of economic development exerts a negative impact on the environmental pillar while the social development exerts a positive impact on ESG and governance pillar. Corruption is the only country-level that gathers a homogenous effect on ESG scores. Finally, the three pillars follow heterogeneous patterns.
This study extends the scope of previous studies by introducing new country-level independent variables to contribute to the understanding of ESG antecedents.
Given the unsettled ESG-CFP (Environmental, Social, Governance-Corporate Financial Performance) relationship and the scarcity of research covering emerging markets firms and the impact of each of the ESG pillars on CFP while considering the industry sector categories, this paper is pioneer in investigating this relationship for 108 East Asian listed firms operating in the Industrials sector for the period extending from 2011 to 2017. The overall ESG scores together with their components are used to study their impact on CFP while considering accounting (Return on Assets (ROA) and Return on Equity (ROE)), and market measures (Stock Return (RET) and Price-to-Book ratio (PB)). We used panel corrected standard errors to address contemporaneous cross-correlations related to the panel cross-sections. Our findings showed that the ESG-CFP relationship depends on the ESG pillars, the type of CFP measures, and the industry nature. No relationship was detected between ESG and CFP when proxied by accounting measures while a concave relationship with Stock Return and a convex relationship with Price-to-Book ratio were revealed. When ESG pillars were considered separately, a convex relationship was obtained between Environmental and accounting performances and between Governance and Price-to-Book ratio while a concave relationship was depicted between Social and accounting performances. At the industry level, ESG negatively impacted the market performance in the Transportation industry compared to no impact in the Capital Goods industry. Consequently, ESG investment decisions in East Asian firms must be well calibrated and planned out to avoid undesired financial outcomes, while a shift in the mindset of managers toward a better ESG development is necessary to attain short-term gains and sustainable fiscal and social advantages.
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