The discovery of a series of corporate scandals in Taiwan between 16 June and 15 September 2004 offers a unique opportunity to investigate the perceptions of investors on the value of corporate governance, whilst avoiding any interactions with other exogenous factors such as the lower expected returns on all firms’ investment opportunities during the East Asian or Global financial crises. The main line of reasoning in this study is that at times when news of scandals flows into the market, the perceptions of certain type of investors will lead to a change in their trading habits for non-scandal portfolios. With a comprehensive analysis of order and trade data for all investors identified by investor code, it is found that a substantial proportion of investors ceased trading altogether during the scandal period. This response was particularly discernible among small and medium individuals, despite the fact that the firms in these portfolios were not associated with the scandals. We further examine the ordering behavior of those investors who still traded in the market. It shows that small individual investors began to enter the market more passively, regardless of whether the firms’ ownership structure. And they consistently underperformed in both ownership-structure portfolios. However, foreign institutions and large individuals place more aggressive orders for stocks in firms with strong cash-flow rights leverage and perform particularly well in those portfolios.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Published online: 21 March 2013