Prior to joining UTS in July 2009, Peter has taught at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in both accounting and finance disciplines, and, most recently, at the University of New South Wales. Apart from an academic career, Peter has also worked for a number of years in senior executive positions for multinational conglomerates, focusing on corporate finance, M&As and foreign direct investment projects across Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and Singapore.
Can supervise: YES
Financial accounting and capital markets-based research
Ferguson, A, Lam, P & Ma, N 2019, 'Further evidence on mandatory partner rotation and audit pricing: a supply-side perspective', Accounting and Finance, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 1055-1100.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lam, H, Ferguson, A & Ma, N 2018, 'Market Reactions to Auditor Switches under Regulatory Consent and Market Driven Regimes', Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 197-215.View/Download from: Publisher's site
We examine market reactions to announcements of auditor switches by Australian-listed companies during the 'regulatory consent' period (2000–2011) under which auditor resignations require consent by the corporate regulator before taking effect at annual general meetings. Overall, we find no clear evidence of significant market responses to firms announcing auditor switches, consistent with a lack of information content or potential information leakage argument. However, examination of a more recent sample in the 'partial deregulation' period (2015–2017), whereby timing and consent provisions have been relaxed under a more market-driven regime, uncovers univariate evidence of market reactions directionally consistent with the audit quality interpretation. Overall, these results provide support for the regulator's recent initiative to deregulate the auditor resignation process in Australia to become more disclosure driven as in other jurisdictions.
We examine the long-run performance of a sample of firms going public through backdoor listing on the ASX during the 1994−2013 period. When benchmarked with a control sample of IPOs, backdoor-listed firms underperformed in the aftermarket. Over the three years after listing, they raised less equity capital and were less profitable and more financially distressed than their IPO counterparts. They also performed poorly in terms of buy-and-hold returns against the matched IPO firms and broad-based market indices. Our results tend to corroborate findings in the US and Canada but are inconsistent with their assertion that lax regulatory oversight is the major cause of underperformance since Australian backdoor listings have to comply with essentially the same listing requirements as IPOs.
We investigate effects of government policy uncertainty on stock prices, reflecting tension between 'private interest' (economic benefits) and 'public interest' arguments over uranium mining. Using a sample of Australian-listed uranium firms from January 2005 through June 2008, we document a positive contemporaneous correlation between stock returns and two measures of government policy uncertainty, proxied by the spread in voters' opinion polls between the two major political parties and a news-based sentiment index. Event-study results show significant stock price reactions to key uranium-related policy events, with cross-sectional variation in event returns predicted by models incorporating firm- and project-level characteristics. Our research design and findings may inform future research on the capital market effects of government policy uncertainty in other regulated industries.
We study a large sample of Australian backdoor listings (BDLs) over the period from 1994 to 2014. BDLs account for roughly 13 per cent of all firms going public on the Australian Securities Exchange and are popular among hi-tech firms and those with foreign-domiciled assets. We find that the BDL market is likely influenced by the sentiment in the initial public offering (IPO) market, with the number of BDLs announced in a year being negatively (positively) correlated with the number of IPOs lodged (the percentage of IPOs withdrawn) in the prior year. Contrary to common belief, BDL transactions take longer to complete than IPOs, since they typically combine both a reverse takeover and the public listing process. Roughly three quarters of our sample raised equity capital as part of the BDL process.
Lam, H, Li, L, Law, J & Tong, W 2018, 'Performance Informativeness and CEO Turnover upon Differing Industry Conditions', Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference, Auckland.
Ferguson, A, Lam, H & Ma, N 2017, 'Market Reactions to Auditor Switches under a Regulatory Consent Regime: Evidence from Australia', 2017 UTS Australian Summer Accounting Conference, Sydney, Australia.
Brown, PR, Ferguson, A & Lam, P 2011, 'Do shareholders gain from reverse takeover transactions? An analysis of the shell premium', Finance and Corporate Governance Conference, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
Ferguson, A & Lam, P 2011, 'Uranium politics: Assessing the wealth effects of the Three Mines Policy', Finance and Corporate Governance Conference, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
Brown, PR, Ferguson, AC & Lam, P 2010, 'Choice between alternative routes to go public: backdoor listing versus IPO', 2010 AFAANZ Conference Website Proceedings, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, AFAANZ, Christchurch, New Zealand, pp. 1-38.
Going public is the dream of many private companies. It represents a major milestone in the development of a firm. The listing status brings a lot of advantages to a firm. Some of these advantages include (1) access to capital markets and lower cost of capital; (2) enhanced company reputation and profile; (3) providing liquidity for owners to cash out; and (4) use of stock to pay for acquisitions, among others. However, going public is also a costly process. The out-of-pocket costs for an IPO typically involve fees paid for investment banks, accountants, auditors, lawyers, other experts, underwriters and brokers. The IPO firm will also have to pay for the printing of a prospectus and listing fees and other compliance costs. Other hidden costs entail underpricing, more stringent disclosure and regulatory requirements and the time spent by senior management in preparing the company for public listing.