SYNOPSIS

Against the backdrop of the Chinese Directive 40 (China's Reg FD) issued in 2007 as an attempt to curb insider trading and to level the information playing field, this study investigates whether analysts' private information acquisition influences the extent to which firm-specific information is impounded into stock prices, i.e., stock price synchronicity, and how the restrictions on selective disclosures imposed by Directive 40 have shaped the relationship between analyst information acquisition and synchronicity. Using a pre-Directive 40 sample, we show that synchronicity is negatively related to analysts' private information acquisition, which provides support for the “information advantage” argument of analysts' information production. However, the ability of analysts' private information acquisition in improving firm-specific information incorporated into stock price is mitigated post-Directive 40 due to a restriction on selective disclosures and/or private communication. Moreover, we find that this regulatory impact varies for firms being followed by affiliated analysts versus non-affiliated analysts.

JEL Classifications: G14; G15; G17; G18.

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