Government Underpricing of Share-Issue Privatizations
Anthony E. Boardman
Aidan R. Vining
The purposes of the paper are to determine whether governments underprice shares in fixed-price share-issue privatizations (SIPs) and, if so, what their motivations are for doing so. This paper develops three models of SIP underpricing: one based on revenue goals, one based on political goals and an inclusive model which supposes that the level of underpricing depends on both government revenue goals and political goals. These models are estimated using an international sample of 104 SIPs from 25 countries. We find that, on average, SIPs are underpriced by approximately the same amount as private sector initial public offerings (IPOs). This is not consistent with the sole goal of revenue maximization because SIPs should not require the same degree of underpricing as IPOs. The inclusive regression fits the data well and indicates that both revenue and political goals affect the level of SIP underpricing. Copyright CIRIEC, 2004.
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