We examine whether the mandated introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is associated with the propensity to access the public rather than private debt market and the cost of debt. We use a global sample of public bonds and private loans and find that mandatory IFRS adopters are more likely, post-IFRS, to issue bonds than to borrow privately. We also find that mandatory IFRS adopters pay lower bond yield spreads, but not lower loan spreads, after the mandate. These findings are consistent with debt providers responding positively to financial reporting of higher quality and comparability, but only when there is a greater reliance on publicly available financial statements than private communication. Lastly, we document that the observed debt market benefits are concentrated in countries with larger differences between domestic GAAP and IFRS and are present even for EU countries that did not experience concurrent financial reporting enforcement or other institutional reforms. Overall, our study documents positive economic consequences around the mandated IFRS adoption for corporate debt financing and, in particular, for bond financing.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 10, 2015
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