SYNOPSIS

The objective of our study is to test whether the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the United States (U.S.) is perceived positively by American Depository Receipt (ADR) firms' equity market participants. We conduct our tests by studying market reactions to the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) IFRS-related press releases, between 2007 and 2011, regarding potential adoption of IFRS in the U.S. Using a sample of ADR firms and multivariate regression analyses, we test the 3-day cumulative abnormal returns (CAR) of investors of ADR firms in response to SEC announcements on potential IFRS adoption. We find a significant and positive market reaction to the SEC's announcements related to the potential adoption of IFRS in the U.S. for ADR firms reporting their financial statements using IFRS, especially in the industry where IFRS is the globally predominant accounting standard. Conversely, we find a significantly negative market reaction to SEC-related announcements of potential adoption of IFRS in the U.S. for ADR firms currently reporting their financial statements using U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). We conclude that the SEC's adoption of IFRS may benefit global and U.S. equity market participants relative to Local GAAP reporting (reporting using domestic GAAP that is not IFRS or U.S. GAAP) by providing a common basis for investors, issuers, and others to evaluate investment opportunities.

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