Accounting quality, governance standards, and syndicated loan contracts: Evidence from emerging markets

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– The purpose of this paper is to examine how firms’ accounting quality affects bank loan contracting in seven emerging markets and whether these relationships are affected by borrowers’ governance standards.


– The study sample period is 1999-2007 because the syndicated loan market was severely affected by the East Asian financial crisis of 1998 and the US financial crisis of 2008. The final sample includes 719 loan observations for 75 firms in seven emerging markets.


– The authors find that syndicated lenders provide loans with more favorable terms such as larger amounts, longer maturity and lower interest spread to borrowers in emerging markets with higher accounting quality. The authors also find that the influences of accounting quality on syndicated loan contracting for borrowers in emerging markets exist only with higher country- and firm-level governance rankings. The results of this paper suggest that lenders place more value on accounting numbers generated by borrowers in emerging markets with stronger internal and country governance frameworks.


– Overall, this research provides new insights about how accounting quality affects the contract design. Specifically, the extant literature has demonstrated the effects of accounting quality on financial contracts in developed countries (e.g. Bharath et al., 2008). The authors extend this analysis to borrowers in emerging markets and confirm a similar result. Most notably, the authors explore whether the relationship between accounting quality and syndicated loan contracts is influenced by borrowers’ country- and firm-level governance, and find that accounting quality matters only when accompanied by high-quality governance. This research provides new insights about how accounting quality and governance standards affect the terms of borrowing contracts in emerging markets.

Publisher's Statement

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2016. Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/PAR-10-2014-0035

Publication Title

Pacific Accounting Review