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The market valuation of share repurchases in Europe

Andriosopoulos, Dimitris and Lasfer, Meziane (2015) The market valuation of share repurchases in Europe. Journal of Banking and Finance, 55. 327–339. ISSN 0378-4266

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    We analyze a uniquely constructed data set of open market share repurchases across a sample of European firms. We find that the announcement date market reaction is lower than that in the US, mainly because of (i) the relatively large number of recurring announcements which generate significantly lower returns than the initial announcements of intention to repurchase shares; (ii) the rather low market reaction in France, due probably to specific governance and corporate cultural issues; and (iii) the regulatory reform that allowed UK firms to keep the repurchased shares as treasury stock, which decreased their market impact. Across our countries, taxation, shareholder protection, and the European Union's Market Abuse Directive do not affect significantly the market valuation of repurchases. Ultimately, domestic institutional specificities and reforms play significant roles in the market valuation and popularity of share repurchases.