Changes in controlling shareholders' holdings: Do they entail financial tunneling?

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We examine changes in controlling shareholder holdings, looking for evidence of financial tunneling (unfair wealth transfers from public investors to controlling shareholders). Our sample comprises yearly data during 2000-2011 on 75 large Israeli companies. We find that controlling shareholders are successful in timing the stock market - there exists a significant negative correlation between changes in the mean controlling shareholders' equity holdings and market return. There is also some evidence that controlling shareholders increase (decrease) their holdings before years of positive (negative) excess returns in their shares. However, statistically significant mean excess returns are documented only after decreases in controlling shareholders' holdings. Thus, we offer only limited support for the financial tunneling hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-63
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Financial Economics
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


  • Controlling shareholders
  • Financial tunneling


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