Testing for market segmentation in the A and B share markets of China

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  • This article was downloaded by: [University of Nebraska, Lincoln]On: 09 October 2014, At: 13:51Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Testing for market segmentation in the A and B sharemarkets of ChinaPatrcia Chelley-Steeley a & Weihua Qian ba Finance, Accounting and Law Group , Aston Business School, University of Aston , AstonTriangle, Birmingham, B4 1AL, UKb Everbright Pramerica Fund Management Co Ltd , Shanghai, Chinac Finance, Accounting and Law Group , Aston Business School, University of Aston , AstonTriangle, Birmingham, B4 1AL, UK E-mail:Published online: 19 Aug 2006.

    To cite this article: Patrcia Chelley-Steeley & Weihua Qian (2005) Testing for market segmentation in the A and B sharemarkets of China, Applied Financial Economics, 15:11, 791-802, DOI: 10.1080/09603100500118930

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  • Testing for market segmentation in

    the A and B share markets of China

    Patrcia Chelley-Steeleya,* and Weihua Qianb

    aFinance, Accounting and Law Group, Aston Business School,University of Aston, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 1AL, UKbEverbright Pramerica Fund Management Co Ltd, Shanghai, China

    Recent research has suggested that the A and B share markets of Chinamay be informationally segmented. In this paper volatility patterns in theA and B share market are studied to establish whether volatility changesto the A and B share markets are synchronous. A consequence of newinformation, when investors act upon it is that volatility rises. This meansthat if the A and B markets are perfectly integrated volatility changesto each market would be expected to occur at the same time. However,if they are segmented there is no reason for volatility changes to occur onthe same day. Using the iterative cumulative sum of squares acrossthe different markets. Evidence is found of integration between the twoA share markets but not between the A and B markets.

    I. Introduction

    For some time it has been argued that the ChineseA and B stock markets have been informationallysegmented, see for example Wo (1997), Sze (1993),or Kim and Shin (2000). Two of the most strikingcharacteristics of this market segmentation havebeen the huge discounts associated with B sharesrelative to A shares, and the finding that there arelead lag relationships between the returns of thefour stock markets.

    Research which has considered market segmenta-tion in the Chinese markets has consistently studiedthe discounts associated with B shares. For example,Fernald and Rogers (1998) showed that B shareinvestors paid about a quarter of the price that Ashare investors paid for shares in Chinese companies.Similar discounts are also noted by Chakravarthyet al. (1998), who discover a discount of 60% on Bshares relative to their A share counterparts. Morerecently, Kim and Shin (2001) have documentedthat the prices of A shares in Shanghai are on averageabout 66% higher than B share prices while Shenzen

    A share prices are about 52% higher than B shareprices.

    As well as heavy discounts in the B share market anumber of studies have drawn attention to leadlagpatterns in the returns of the four Chinese stock mar-kets. Research by Chan (1993) and Chui and Kwok(1998) have shown that there are strong cross auto-correlations between the returns of companies whichhave issued both A and B shares. More recently,Kim and Shin (2000) has used Granger causality teststo describe the nature of the leadlag relationships inreturns. They found that the returns of B shares leadthe returns of A shares and A shares in Shanghai leadShenzen A share returns, although there wasa weakening of this relationship after 1996.

    Both the heavy discount associated with B sharesand the leadlag pattern in returns have been linkedto information segmentation. Chakravarty et al.(1998) argue that the cause of such a huge discounton B shares is information segmentation caused bypoor information processing in the B share market.They argue that foreign investors find it more dif-ficult to acquire and assess information about local

    *Corresponding author. E-mail. P.L.chelley-steeley@aston.ac.uk

    Applied Financial Economics ISSN 09603107 print/ISSN 14664305 online # 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd 791

    http://www.tandf.co.uk/journalsDOI: 10.1080/09603100500118930

    Applied Financial Economics, 2005, 15, 791802

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  • Chinese firms because of language barriers, diverseaccounting standards and information barriers withinChina, which prevent the free flow of informationfrom one investor group to another.

    However, information barriers are not onlybelieved to exist in the B share market. Informationdissemination is also believed to be inhibited in theA share market. Chui and Kwok (1998) argue thatjournalists are prevented from reporting financialinformation about firms in a timely way becauseof significant laws which prevent the reporting ofeconomic information. As a result important newsabout the economy is often announced first in neigh-bouring countries such as Singapore or Thailand,allowing foreign investors to benefit from the newsfirst, ahead of A share investors.

    The aim of this paper is to study the extent towhich the A and B stock markets of China are infor-mationally segmented by looking at the correlationbetween volatility changes in each market. Using theiterative cumulative sum of squares (ICSS) procedureof Inclan and Tiao (1994) the dates on which volati-lity shifts to the unconditional variance of returns,took place in the Chinese stock markets are identi-fied. In previous studies researchers have relied heav-ily on information from cointegration tests. The ICSSalgorithm of Inclan and Tiao (1994) however allowsmuch more information to be gauged and can beprovided by cointegration results.

    As shown by Ross (1989) stock market volatilitycan be linked to the arrival of new information, whichincreases volatility as investors utilize new informa-tion that moves prices. If the A and B share marketsare perfectly integrated, so that investors share andutilize the same information set, volatility changes toone market should be reflected elsewhere in othermarkets. However, if markets are segmented so thatinvestors are relying on different information setsthere is no reason to expect volatility shifts in thedifferent markets to occur at the same time.

    It is found that the unconditional variance ofdaily returns for the Shanghai and the Shenzen A andB stock market are nonstationary. All stock marketsare characterized by numerous volatility shifts duringthe sample period. When the dates of the volatilityshifts are compared it is found that the A sharemarkets of Shanghai and Shenzen appear to bereasonably integrated because volatility changes inthese markets are synchronous. However, volatilityshifts to the A and B share markets do not occuron similar dates which indicates that they may beinformationally segmented. It is however noticedthat there is a reduction in segmentation after 1996as there are many more shared volatility shifts from1996 onwards.

    The remainder of this paper is set out as follows,in Section II the Chinese stock market is described,in Section III the ICSS algorithm of Inclan andTiao (1994) is described which will be used to findthe dates on which volatility changes. Section IVdescribes the data and provides some summarystatistics. Section V reports the dates of the volatilityshifts and Section VI discusses the information thatmay have caused volatility changes in the Chinesestock markets. Section VII provides a summary andconclusions to the paper.

    II. Chinas Stock Market

    The Shanghai stock market which opened inDecember 1990 was the first official stock market toopen in China. In July 1991 a second stock marketopened in Shenzen. The Shanghai market