Ownership concentration, political connection and audit fees: Some evidence from Malaysian capital market Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The purpose of our study is to examine how share ownership concentration and political connection determine audit fees in Malaysia. These two determinants, ownership concentration and political connection, are very important, especially, in the context of Malaysia where many companies have very high share ownership concentration and are politically connected. We examine 162 companies listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange and employ cross-sectional regression analysis to determine the relationship between ownership concentration, political connection and audit fees. We observe that highly concentrated share ownership firms are able to influence priorities of the board to focus on the provision of resources rather than monitoring. Our results suggest a negative association between audit fees and politically connected firms. We also find that higher proportion of independent directors on the audit committee of politically connected firms demand auditors to put additional efforts on the politically connected firms which leads to an increment in the audit fee charged. This suggests that regulators should encourage companies to form an effective audit committee for high quality audit services to ensure that firm is able to minimize the risk exposure. The findings of the study are appealing to literature of political connection and audit fees.

publication date

  • 2012