We provide international evidence on the level and value of corporate diversification using a sample of 145 Singapore firms. We find that the level of diversification is positively related to firm size and negatively related to the equity ownership of outside blockholders. However, we find no evidence that insider ownership has a significant impact on the level of diversification. We find significant value loss from diversification only for those firms with low managerial ownership, suggesting that value-reducing diversification stems from agency problems. Outside block ownership does not have a significant impact on the value of diversification. Thus, while outside blockholders may act as a deterrent on the level of diversification, there is no evidence that they can effectively reduce the agency problems for those firms with low managerial ownership.
International Review of Financial Analysis, Vol.9, No.3, pp.315-326