Investor reaction to information content of audit report for Tunisian companies

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In response to recent corporate scandals, the economic and legislative orientations tend to strengthen the audit control. The new laws on an international level (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) and national (law 2005 relating to the financial security) which, among other things, reinforced the role and the responsibility for the external audits. This assumption implicit is that the auditor's opinion provides investors with value-relevant information. We examine 15-day returns following disclosure of qualified audit opinions in the Tunisian stock market. We find no evidence of significant negative abnormal returns associated with qualified audit opinions. In order to refine this first result, we analyze the liquidity following the date of the audit report publication. We are able to document a significant market reaction associated with qualified audit opinions. We find evidence a significant negative abnormal liquidity associated with qualified audit opinions. Our results show that qualified audit opinions do not have information value for investors, using the abnormal return as a measure of the market reaction. However, our empirical results support our second hypotheses that the qualified audit opinion provides financial statement users with value-relevant information and negatively associated with abnormal liquidity.

1. Introduction

The auditor is required to certify whether financial statements prepared by the company's management meet the standards of regularity and sincerity. Acting as an independent intermediary, the auditor facilitates market transactions by providing an opinion on financial statements which should help to reduce the information asymmetry between the company and its potential investors.

Empirical studies focused on investor reaction to the information content of audit report and led to the mixed results. Some studies (Soltani, 2000; Taffler and al., 2004) indicated that qualified audit opinions have informational value to investors. However, of other study (Ameen and Guffey, 1994; Pucheta and al., 2004; Al-Thuneibat and al., 2008) did not find significant evidence of a stock price and bid ask spread effect when qualifications are disclosed publicly. Some of these differences might be explained by the differences in data selection and methodological issues. Besides, the differences in the economic environment and accounting and auditing practices, can also affect the results of the empirical tests used in research studies.

A new orientation of research shows itself and tries to study the informative contents of the auditor's opinion while analyzing the liquidity following disclosure of qualified audit opinions (Ameen and Guffey, 1994; Chen and al., 2005).

The majority of studies examine the impact of the audit report publication on the financial market, by basing itself on the stock-exchange returns around this publication. However, very few empirical studies analyzed the liquidity following disclosure of qualified audit opinions (Ameen and Guffey, 1994; Chen and al., 2005).

Our study thus consists in analyzing on the Tunisian market the informative value of the auditor's report. In this purpose, we analyze the stock returns and the liquidity following disclosure of qualified audit opinions. One of incentives of the study on the liquidity explains by the fact that relevant information has to be translated by realized transactions and allows to make vary bid-ask spreads what admits an impact on the liquidity.

Several studies have been carried out in the past three decades in an attempt to show the economic consequences of auditors' qualified opinions. Although some of these studies were under taken in the mature markets (Australia, Canada,…), the majority were carried out in the US market (Ameen and Guffey, 1994; Kwon and Wild, 1994; Chen and Church, 1996; Ogneva and Subramanyam, 2007;…). Our present study has the same objective; there are some significant differences in terms of sample selection and the methodology used. In addition, to our knowledge our study is the first using two measures of reaction of the Tunisian capital market to audit reports: abnormal return and abnormal liquidity.

The investigation in this paper is important in two aspects. First, the market reaction in this study is only not captured by the cumulative abnormal returns (based on stock prices). We consider thus bid-ask spreads as alternative measures of market reaction. Second, very few studies have been conducted to test the information content of audit reports in the emergent countries.

The remainder of the study is organized as follows. We present first of all the institutional development and the major characteristics of the Tunisian context. We describe previous studies on audit opinions and market reactions in the third section. We detail our sampling methodology in the fourth section. We discuss our results in the fifth section, and we conclude in the final section.

2. Institutional Development

The Tunisia Stock Exchange is a small and effective African stock exchange. In 1969, this Stock Exchange was established and at present, 50 companies are listed on this exchange. During late 1970s and early 1980s, the Tunisian economy experienced a rapid development in capital markets. This development is at the origin of an increase in the demand for credible financial reporting and independent auditing information. This change in the economic environment prompted the regulatory authority in Tunisia to introduce the New Accounting System of Companies from the beginning of 1997 (NASC). Also new laws were promulgated to improve the audit profession. On the other hand, Tunisia Financial Market Board (TFMB) introduced many rules and regulations with improve listed firms' corporate governance.

However, on 2002, the recent collapse of BATAM, quoted in Tunisian capital market, and the irregularities found in its financial statements have created many problem in this exchange. Indeed, this business constitutes the first crisis of the Tunisian capitalism, which put in evidence a responsibility of the external auditor, which was imprisoned because he has not revealed the accounting irregularities in his auditor report.

Following this business, several laws which have were promulgated. For example law n° 2005-96 relating to the financial security. This law reinforced essentially the role and the responsibility for the external auditors. They reinforced the role of the Financial Market Board in the exercise of its mission, on the other hand. The objective of all these changes is to protect the investors in stock exchange.

On the financial market, auditors provide two valuable roles to capital market participants: an information role (audit report) and an insurance role (earnings quality). In our study we interest for the information role, and we verify if the audit opinion has information content for the capital market participants.

3. Review of previous research on information content of the audit report in capital markets

3.1. Audit reports and stock prices relation

The empirical association between modified audit opinions and stock returns has been studied extensively in the accounting literature (Chen and al., 2000; Pucheta and al., 2004; Taffler and al., 2004; Al-Thuneibat and al., 2008;…). These studies reported mixed results.

3.1.1. Null reaction

On the US market, Dodd and al. (1984) show that there is no significant negative relationship between stock price and qualified audit opinions. On the Spanish market, the findings of Pucheta and al. (2004) indicate that qualified audit reports do not have information value for investors. In addition, Al-Thuneibat and al. (2008) indicate that there is little evidence of a stock price effect when qualifications are disclosed publicly during the period 2000-2005 in the Jordanian market.

In a context of financial distress, Ogneva and Subramanyam (2007) find no evidence of significant negative abnormal returns associated with going concern opinions in Australia and in the US.

The majority of studies have used the event study methodology in their studies. They maintain that the capital market is efficient at the intermediate level. This means that share prices incorporate completely and instantaneously all new information that comes to the market (Fama, 1970; McWilliams and Siegel, 1997).

The methodological problems, considered as one of the important reasons for the absence of significant results in some studies (Chow and Rice, 1982; Elliot, 1982; Craswell, 1985;…), for instance the announcement date of the audit reports is not easily identified and the controls of concurrent disclosures must be employed.

3.1.2. Positive/Negative reaction

Dopuch and al. (1986) find that there is negative relation between abnormal stock returns and qualified audit opinions. Firth (1978) shows significant negative price responses for "general", "going concern" and "asset values" qualifications in the context of the UK market,

The results of the study of Soltani (2000) demonstrate that there are significant negative abnormal returns around the announcement dates of audit opinions for the period 1986-1995. The results also show significant abnormal returns for continuing qualified opinions and the release of audit reports containing "observations" and "remarks" on the financial statements of the listed companies. Moreover, Soltani (2000) finds more significant excess returns for the qualified opinions contained in consolidated reports in investment decisions.

On the emerging Chinese stock market, Chen and al. (2000) find a significantly negative association between modified audit opinions (qualified opinions and unqualified opinions with explanatory notes) and cumulative abnormal returns after controlling for effects of other concurrent announcements. In addition, they do not observe significant differences between market reaction to qualified opinions and market reaction to unqualified opinions with explanatory notes.

In a context of financial distress, the study of Chen and Church (1996) shows that firms receiving going concern opinions experience less negative excess returns in the period surrounding bankruptcy filings than those receiving unqualified opinions, and therefore the going concern opinions represent valuable information. This discussion suggests our first hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1: Ceteris paribus, the announcement date of qualified audit opinion is negatively associated with abnormal return.

3.2. Audit reports and liquidity relation

Prior research shows that Auditor's report is associated with stock price changes (Chen and al., 2000; Ogneva and Subramanyam, 2007; Al-Thuneibat and al., 2008). However, at the auditor's report announcement date, auditor's opinion cannot explain that one a small portion of the variation in returns. Indeed, Auditor's opinion is an important source of information and allows to signaling to the market the quality of the earnings generated by the firm and affect the investor's decision (Choi and Jeter, 1992).

The previous section exposes the various empirical studies in the accounting literature and which analyzed the association between qualified audit opinion and stock market reaction. However, these studies report mixed results.

In general, some studies are enabling to detect significant market reaction to a qualified audit opinion announcement (Pucheta and al., 2004; Ogneva and Subramanyam, 2007; Al-Thuneibat and al., 2008). However, other researchers conclude that the qualification of audit reports has "information content" to financial statement users (Soltani, 2000; Chen and al., 2000; Taffler and al., 2004).

This problem can be explained essentially that the previous studies analyzed returns abnormal around the audit qualification announcement. However, returns abnormal do not constitute the only measure of the market reaction. Indeed the market reaction can be too estimated by the abnormal liquidity. Indeed, the market microstructure literature suggests that information asymmetry reduces market liquidity. To analyze of advantage the informative contents of the audit report, we are going to try to analyze the abnormal liquidity around the audit qualification announcement. However, very few empirical studies analyzed the equity liquidity around the auditor's opinion announcement.

Ameen and Guffey (1994) analyze the market reaction to an audit qualification announcement. They examine the effect of a qualified opinion on the proportional transaction volume and the proportional bid-ask spread at the audit report announcement. The authors observe a significant reaction of the transaction volume to an audit qualification announcement. However, no reaction was observed at the bid-ask spread around this date. In that case, they studies detect no market reaction to an audit qualification announcement.

Chen and al. (2005) examine the economic consequences and investors reactions to disciplinary actions taken against listed firms by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). The authors find that firms have a greater rate of auditor switching, a much higher incidence of qualified audit opinions, increased CEO turnover, and wider bid-ask spreads.

Therefore, it remains an empirical question whether qualified audit opinion, as an important source of information for the investors and can be vary the liquidity in the stock market. This discussion leads to our second hypothesis in its alternative form:

Hypothesis 2: Ceteris paribus, the announcement date of qualified audit opinion is negatively associated with abnormal liquidity.

4. Research methodology

4.1. Description and analysis of the sample

Our sample contains 45 listed firms on the Tunis Stock Exchange for the period 2003-2006. Our sample consists of 180 firm-year observations as having 139 unqualified opinions and 41 qualified audit opinions. We did not eliminate the financial firms. Because the final goal of the audit mission, which is realized on a financial company or not, is to emit an audit opinion on the sincerity and the reliability of the financial statements. The main difference exists in the procedures of audit followed by the external auditor's.

Our stock data has been obtained from the Tunisian Stock Exchange Market. We obtain the type of audit opinions from Tunisian financial statements.

Auditors' opinions announcement date was hand-collected from the Official Bulletin published by the Council of the Financial Market.

One of the major problems in this type of study is related to the missing daily stock prices resulting from the absence of transactions in a particular period. Most forecasting methods are based on equally spaced data. In this study, the missing stock prices were replaced by averaging the prices before and after the specified event date.

4.2. Choice of the event date

To elaborate this study, the choice of the date of the audit report publication is a stage which is very important. In the Anglo-Saxon context, the publication date of the audit report is the one of the publication of the report 10-K, or that of the annual report, if this last one in summer published before the report 10-K. In Tunisia context, the audit report is published with financial statements. Thus in priori, we can judge that the date of the audit report publication is the one financial statement.

The article 276 of the Trading Companies Code of Tunisia specifies that: Once the auditor completes it work and sign it audit report, this report must be available to shareholders at least 15 days before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of shareholders. The AGM should be held within six months of the year end (article 275). And in short, this report must be approved at the company's AGM before being announced to the public.

The publication date of annual reports corresponds normally to the date of the AGM less 15 days (AGM-15). Also the signature date of the audit report is the one normally before of the AGM and also before that of the AGM-15. However, the analysis of audit reports shows that there are cases in which this date coincides with that of the AGM-15. Also, there are cases in which this date is meanwhile of time between the date of the AGM and the date of the AGM-15, and therefore we retain the date of the AGM. By that time, we judge that all audit reports of Tunisian companies are known by the shareholders.

4.3. Event study methodology

Event study methods are the econometric techniques used to estimate and draw inferences about the impact of an event in a particular period or over several periods.

4.3.1. Event study by stock price

The use of the event study methodology in our study requires analysing the definition of the event, the date on which the event takes place, and the event and estimation windows. The event date used in our event study is the date of the AGM of each company (t=0). The estimation window is of 100 days ([-66, -16; +16, +66]), and the event window is of 30 days ([-15; +15]).

We need to calculate the Abnormal Returns (AR) generated during the event window in order to estimate the effect of an event on the share price. For a share i and at the time t, the abnormal return is defined as follows:

Where, Rit : the actual return of the share i at the time t, , with, Pit and Pit-1 are the daily price quotation of the share i respectively to the time (t) and (t-1), and Dit is the dividend received on the share i at the time t;

E(Rit): the expected return for the share i at the time t.

To calculate expected returns, we need to turn to an appropriate model. In our view, the best option is to use the market model, despite its limitations, since it is the model that has enjoyed most support from empirical studies (Soltani, 2002; Pucheta and al., 2004; Citron and al., 2008; Kausar and al., 2009…).

The market model for a share "i" is:

Where, Rmt: the actual return of the market at the time t; εit: the residual term of share i at the time t; and αi and βi are the parameters, whom will be estimated by means of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) in the estimation window.

To calculate the actual return of the market, we used the TUNINDEX index. This is equivalent to the CAC40 in France, FTSE100 in Great Britain and the DAX30 in Germany. Therefore, the actual return of the market will be:

Where, Iit and Iit-1 : the daily price of the TUNINDEX index respectively to the time (t) and (t-1).

By averaging the residuals across firms in common event time, we obtain the Average Abnormal Returns (AAR): (N is the number of firms in the sample).

By cumulating the periodic average residuals, we obtain the Cumulative Average (CAAR):

Some of the main parametric (student) and non-parametric (generalised sign test and Wilcoxon signed rank test) tests used in event studies to assess the significance of abnormal returns for each date within the time interval of event window. The use of non-parametric tests allows us to confirm or reject the results obtained from the parametric tests. In this paper, to test our first hypothesis proposed, we employed one parametric test "t-test" (T) was used to establish whether differences between the group of companies receiving qualifications and those receiving unqualified opinions were significantly different from zero. The test was run using the statistical program SPSS Version 10 for Windows.

For average abnormal returns,

With, is the cross-sectional [1] standard deviation. This one is estimated from the variance of abnormal returns:

For cumulative average abnormal returns,

With,

4.3.2. Event study by liquidity

In this stage of the research, we analyze the impact of qualified audit reports on the liquidity of the companies. We use a methodology similar to an event study. The event date used in this research is the date of the AGM of each company (t=0). The event window is of 4 days ([-2, +2]).

We choose to change the event window because with an event window of 15 days before and 15 days after the date of the audit report publication the results are not significant. It is for this that we retain a new window event of 2 days before and after the date of the audit report publication. We also change our methodology, and we use a regression of panel data.

The abnormal liquidity is calculated over the period of two days before and after the date of the publication of the audit report ([-2, +2]).

The abnormal liquidity of the equity i fitted to the market, during a window of event T is defined as follows:

With:

Li,T: the liquidity of the share i, it is the bid-ask spread of the equity i, in the daytime t.

With,

Ask: the asking price;

Bid: the bid price;

Mt: [(ask + bid)/2].

LM,T : the liquidity of the market, the average bid-ask spread of the market, in the daytime t.

With,

N: the total number of quoted shares on the market, in the daytime t.

Cumulative Abnormal Liquidity is calculated in the following way:

We employ the following model to test our second hypothesis:

With ,

CALit: the cumulative abnormal liquidity over the 5 day period around on the audit report announcement date ([-2, +2]) for sample firm i in year t;

OPINit-1 : the auditor opinion is a dummy variable coded 1 for qualified audit opinion and 0 otherwise;

SIZEit : the natural log of the market capitalization of a firm;

VOLUMEit the natural log of the number of shares traded;

RETit: the return of stock, RET= Ln (Pt + Dt) - Ln (Pt-1), where Pt is the price of the stock, Dt is the dividend;

VOLATit: the standard deviation of the return;

The indication i represents the company whereas the indication t indicates the study period considered (on 2003 in 2006). Thus the indication t represents the year t and the indication t-1 represents the year t-1. γ is the coefficients relative to the variables of the study. Finally, εit: a standard residual term is.

5. Empirical results and analysis

5.1. The results of the event study: abnormal returns

We analyze graphically (graph 1 and graph 2) and statistically (Table 1) the global reaction to the publishing audit opinions in the Tunisian capital market for the period 2003-2006.

5.1.1. Graph analysis

The graph 1 shows that the cumulative average abnormal returns are positive around the announcement date of audit reports, and they are in upward movement on the event period [-15;+15].

According to the graph 2, the findings in this empirical study provide evidence that Tunisian firms experience positive cumulative average abnormal returns surrounding the qualified and unqualified audit opinions for the period of study 2003-2006.

Additionally, the graph 2 reveals that the abnormal returns are nearly null before and after the announcement date of qualified opinions, in most cases, but an anomalous movement characterized by an important increase to the day t-4, it passed the value .006 to the one .058. For the abnormal returns around the announcement date of unqualified opinions, they are in upward movement.

Graph 2 provides that the publication of unqualified audit opinion increases the abnormal returns on the financial market. However, it is necessary to verify if the variation of the returns around the publication of the audit opinions is significant or not.

5.1.2. Statistical analysis

The CAAR and the t-values for all the audit reports are reported in table 1 for the period 2003-2006.

Our findings demonstrate that the audit reports do not report any significant cumulative abnormal returns before and after the announcement date, and therefore the audit reports do not have informational value to investors. The results are not significant this might be due to a relatively small sample. Thus, our first hypothesis is rejected.

The absence of a link between audit reports and share prices might be the result of the release of more timely information from other sources. In such a case, the usefulness of the audit and the informative role of the auditor can be seriously criticized at a time when there is more demand for high quality information.

Moreover, the evidence for no significant results might be related to the point that the period of the study is marked everywhere by the financial scandals in the world, and in particular in Tunisia. The reliability of financial reporting and the audit profession have fallen under a shadow of suspicion. In these conditions, the investors don't grant any more importance to the audit report.

Despite the differences between the Tunisian legal system and institutional environment and in the countries of the Anglo-Saxon world, our findings are consistent with most Anglo-American studies (Dodd and al., 1984; Pucheta and al., 2004; Al-Thuneibat and al., 2008;…), which have shown that audit reports do not provide investors with information content.

The results of the study of event which analyzes the abnormal returns conclude that the qualification of audit reports has "no information content" to financial statement users. In what follows, we try to analyze the abnormal liquidity around the event of the publication of the audit report. Also, we suggest bringing some modifications for our sample of research to have significant results. We suppose that the firms placed on the stock market during their first year are not included in the sample. Thus our sample consists of 42 firms listed on the Tunisian Stock Market (TSE) during the period 2003-2006. And the event window is of 4 days ([-2; +2]).

5.2. The results of the model with the abnormal liquidity

The results of the study of event which analyzes the abnormal returns conclude that the qualification of audit reports has "no information content" to financial statement users. In what follows, we try to analyze the abnormal liquidity around the event of the publication of the audit report. Also, we suggest bringing some modifications for our sample of research to have significant results. We suppose that the firms placed on the stock market during their first year are not included in the sample. Thus our sample consists of 42 firms listed on the Tunisian Stock Market (TSE) during the period 2003-2006. And the event window is of 4 days ([-2; +2]).

5.2.1. Univariate Tests

Table 2 report the summary statistics of the variables used in this study. This table provides the descriptive statistics for cumulative abnormal liquidity, auditor's opinion, and the other control variables. The results show that qualified audit opinion are positively associated with cumulative abnormal spread and negatively associated with liquidity.

Table 2: Descriptive statistics and univariate tests

The panel data of panel require certain tests, has knowledge: test of presence of individual effect, Hausman test, Heteroscedasticity test and Correlation test. Table 3, 4 and 5 report the results of these tests. Indeed, the result shows the presence of individual effect. The hausman test is a test of specification which makes it possible to determine if the coefficients of the two estimates (fixed and random) are statistically different. The probability of the test is 79% implies that the individual effect is random effect. The heteroscedasticity test indicates significant problems with heteroscedasticity. The result justified our choice of random effect model.

Table 4 and 5 shows that no problem of collinearity can be detected between all variable retained in the same model.

5.2.1. Multivariate Tests

The graph 2 shows that the publication of the audit report so has an informative content which makes the investors react. Indeed, according to this graph, the evolution of the average abnormal liquidity around the date of the "publication of the audit report" changes tendency during the period of considered study [+2, -2]. Indeed, the abnormal average price bracket begins to decrease in the date of the announcement. This decrease implies an improvement of the liquidity on the financial market.

It this explains in priori that the publication of the audit report reduces the problem of asymmetry of information between the investors and directs their decisions of investments.

From the graph 3, the publication of the audit report seems to have an informative content on the financial market. Indeed, we cannot speak about real informative contents of the report drafted by the auditor that in the case either this one would emit a qualified audit opinion or would refuse to certify. On the other hand, when financial status produced by a company is presumed reliable and sincere, their certification (unqualified audit opinion) may not provoke a revision of the forecasts of the investors.

According to graph 4, the informative contents of a qualified opinion emitted by the auditor in his audit report are verified. We notice that the bid ask spread increases with the emission of a qualified audit opinion and decreases in case the auditor formulates unqualified audit opinion.

The graph 4 also show that the qualified audit opinion seem to have an informative contents more important than unqualified audit opinion. Also, we notice an important increase of the bid ask spread in the date of the publication of the qualified audit opinion. However, and following the publication of unqualified audit opinion, the bid ask spread remains almost stable.

Graphs presented this above show that the publication of the audit report admits an informative contents for the investors. Furthermore, the publication of a qualified audit opinion increases the bid ask spread and reduces the liquidity on the financial market. However, it is necessary to verify if the variation of the bid ask spread following the publication of the audit report is significant or not.

Table 6 presents the regression results for testing our second hypotheses. The results from our Model indicate that OPIN is positively associated with the cumulative abnormal spread, at a significance level of 1%. The results confirm a significant and negative market reaction to a qualified audit opinion announcement. Indeed, the qualified audit opinion is consistently negative associated with liquidity at conventional significance levels. More explicitly, we can let us conclude that the qualification of audit reports has "information content" to financial statement users. A negative and significant value for the coefficient of the OPIN variable would that abnormal liquidity around the announcement of the auditor's report was lowers for qualified audit opinion than for unqualified opinion. These results support our second hypothesis, which investors react negatively to the announcement of qualified audit opinion. In other words, the Tunisian investors' strong negative response to qualified audit opinion underscores their important signaling effect in an emerging market.

Summary and conclusions

The objective of this study was to test the information content of the auditor's report. We have, first, revealed through an overview of the empirical studies that the investors take into the qualified audit opinion disclosed by the external auditors in their audit report when assessing their issued equities and will be less interested to operate with shares of the companies with have received a qualified audit opinion.

The empirical association between qualified audit opinion and stock market reaction has been studied extensively in the accounting literature (Alderman, 1977; Firth, 1978; Chow and Rice, 1982; Dodd and al., 1984; Dopuch and al., 1986; Loudder and al., 1992). However, these studies report mixed results. For example, Pucheta and al. (2004), Ogneva and Subramanyam (2007) and Al-Thuneibat and al. (2008) find no significant market reaction to a qualified audit opinion announcement. However, Soltani, (2000), Chen and al. (2000) and Taffler and al. (2004) find that the qualification of audit reports has "information content" to financial statement users.

In this paper, we propose to analyze of advantage the informative contents of the audit report; we are going to try to study the earnings returns and the liquidity around the audit qualification announcement. In particular, we analyze the impact of the qualified audit opinion on the acquirer's abnormal returns and abnormal liquidity by the companies in the stock market. We find no evidence of negative abnormal returns in Tunisia stock market. In the other hand, we report significant negative reaction to the qualified audit opinion with analyzing the liquidity. This result explain that the auditor's opinion influences investors' valuation judgments and direct their decision to buy or not the securities on the financial market what allows of vary the liquidity.

Our study makes at least three important contributions to the existing literature. First, we provide support for regulators' assertions that external audit reporting will provide investors with useful information about the quality of a firm's earnings. Second, we provide evidence that the qualified audit opinion is informative to investors. Third, we analyze the effect of qualified audit opinion on acquirers' abnormal return and acquirers' abnormal liquidity around audit report announcements. Therefore, we propose that the study of the liquidity is the best measures the market reaction in the Tunisian context.

Our study is subjected to a very important limit which is the size of our sample. Indeed our sample is very small with regard to the other empirical studies made in the Anglo-Saxon context. But it there can be to explain by the characteristics specific to the Tunisian financial market and the number reduces of listed companies in this stock exchange.

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