Are stock option grants to directors of state-controlled chinese firms listed in Hong Kong genuine compensation?
Date of Issue2013
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
We examine the determinants and consequences of stock option compensation to directors of state-controlled Chinese firms that are incorporated outside China and listed in Hong Kong, referred to as state-controlled Red Chip firms, over the period 1990-2005. We find that state-controlled Red Chip firms granted directors a significant number of stock options in response to the demand of foreign investors. However, state-controlled Red Chip firms forced the directors to forfeit a significant percentage of their vested in-the-money stock options due to a conflict between the high-powered stock option compensation and state-controlled Red Chip firms’ unique managerial labor market. We find little evidence that directors’ stock option compensation changed the behavior of state-controlled Red Chip firms. Overall, our results are consistent with the media’s allegation that the stock options granted to directors of many, if not all, state-controlled Red Chip firms are not genuine compensation.
The accounting review
© 2013 American Accounting Association.