Title: Investigating transparency and disclosure determinants at firm-level in MENA emerging markets

Authors: Hakim Ben Othman, Daniel Zeghal

Addresses: LIGUE and CGA Accounting Research Centre, FSJEGJ, 26 bis rue Okba Ibn Nafaa, 2016 Carthage, Dermech, Tunis, Tunisia. ' CGA Accounting Research Centre, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building, 55 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada

Abstract: The objective of this study is to examine transparency and disclosure (henceforth T&D) determinants for Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) companies. Using a sample of 216 annual reports for companies followed by S&P/IFC and pertaining to 13 MENA emerging markets, we expect that the business milieu mostly inherited from the former British/French colonial era and shaped by privileged economic ties with the Anglo-American versus Continental European world has the potential to affect T&D. We investigate T&D determinants from a firm-level perspective. Our findings show that MENA companies from countries having historical links with Great Britain have substantially higher T&D scores than those from countries having historical links with France. Moreover, companies operating in the information technology sector exhibit higher levels of T&D. Multivariate analysis outlines that the nature of business culture, company size and the importance of intangibles affect positively the level of T&D in the MENA region.

Keywords: transparency; disclosure; emerging markets; international accounting; corporate governance; Middle East and North Africa; MENA; annual reports; historical links; UK; United Kingdom; France; financial reporting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2010.036152

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2010 Vol.6 No.4, pp.368 - 396

Available online: 25 Oct 2010 *

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