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The Valuation of European Financial Firms

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    Rights statement: Danbolt, J., & Rees, W. (2002). The Valuation of European Financial Firms. Review of Accounting & Finance, 5-24doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/eb026976

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-24
Number of pages20
JournalReview of Accounting and Finance
Publication statusPublished - 2002


We extend the recent literature concerning accounting based valuation models to investigate financial firms from six European countries with substantial financial sectors: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK. Not only are these crucial industries worthy of study in their own right, but unusual accounting practices, and inter-country differences in those accounting practices, provide valuable insights into the accounting-value relationship. Our sample consists of 7,714 financial firm/years observations from 1,140 companies drawn from 1989-2000. Sub-samples include 1,309 firm/years for banks, 650 for insurance companies, 1,705 for real estate firms, and 3,239 for investment companies. In most countries we find that the valuation models work as well or better in explaining cross-sectional variations in the market-to-book ratio for financial firms as they do for industrial and commercial firms in the same countries, although Switzerland is an exception to this generalization. As expected, the results are sensitive to industrial differences, accounting
regulation and accounting practices. In particular, marking assets to market
value reduces the relevance of earnings figures and increases that of equity.

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