International financial reporting standards and foreign ownership in South African companies
Previous literature suggests that the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) can facilitate cross-border capital flows, as it results in an increase in market liquidity and comparability benefits. Using foreign ownership levels in South African listed companies during the period 2003 to 2007, we test whether this association holds in a South African context when the top 40 South African companies mandatorily adopted IFRS. The results indicate that the adoption of IFRS did not have a significant positive association with foreign ownership levels during the sample period. We attribute the result to the harmonisation project undertaken in South Africa to align local accounting standards (SAGAAP) with the IFRS before the mandatory adoption thereof.
Key words: foreign investment, cross-border investment, IFRS adoption benefits, mandatoryadoption