Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

The Relationship Between Bid-Ask Spreads and Holding Periods: The Case of Chinese A and B Shares

The Chinese stock markets for A (domestic) shares and B (foreign) shares were completly separated. This study examines the relationship between spreads and holding periods across these segmented markets on the same set of firms. Our major findsings are as follows. (1) There is a positive relationship between holding periods and bid-ask spreads in the Chinese stock market. (2) Investors' sensitivity toward liquidity is approximately the same in the A and B share makrkets, even though bid-ask spreads are substantially different across the two markets. These results provide strrong support for the theoretical argument of Amihud and Mendelson [Amihud, Y., & Mendelson, H. (1986). Asset pricing and the bid-ask spread. Journal of Financial Economics, 17, 223-249.] that stocks with higher spreads tend to be held by long-term investors. Evidence also sugests that liquidity has a role in explaining the B share discount, although the reuslts are less than conclusive.