Title: The value relevance of discretionary loan loss disclosures for Saudi banks

Authors: Haider H. Madani

Addresses: Department of Accounting and MIS, College of Industrial Management, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: This paper investigates the value relevance of discretionary loan loss disclosures using a sample of Saudi banks over the period 1992–2006. It is motivated by the fact that (1) Saudi Arabia is joining the World Trade Organization and the results of this timely study will provide international investors and the international community at large with the information content of loan loss provisions for Saudi banks and (2) the expected results should also aid in any public policy that seek to improve financial reporting and transparency regulation in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. The results support the signalling hypothesis, indicating that bank managers use their discretion over provisions for loan losses to signal favourable private information and convey |good news| about future cash flows. However, contrary to previous research, investors appear to value each disclosure independently of each other, rather than jointly. Furthermore, only non-performing loans are very important piece of information that is negatively related to bank future performance.

Keywords: Saudi banks; discretionary disclosure; loan losses; loss disclosures; signalling hypothesis; Saudi Arabia; financial reporting; transparency regulation; non-performing loans.

DOI: 10.1504/AJFA.2011.039882

American Journal of Finance and Accounting, 2011 Vol.2 No.3, pp.209 - 218

Available online: 22 Apr 2011 *

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