Dividend Policy in Tunisia: A Signalling Approach

  •  Taleb Lotfi    


The main objective of this study was to establish the stock price reaction to dividend announcements of firms quoted at the Tunisian Securities exchange (TSE). To do so, we develop a traditional event study. Two robust results emerge: First, when we observe the 196 announcements of dividends between years 1996-2004, the result is inconsistent with signaling theory, as long as, no abnormal return was observed on the announcement day (event period). Second, When the overall sample is divided into three sub-group (dividend increase, dividend-no-change and dividend), we observe a significant and abnormal return about -1.242 percent and -1.697 percent respectively on day D(t0-4) and D(t0+4) around the dividend announcement day (Dt0) only for the sub-group of firms that decreases their dividend. This result corroborates prior research in Tunisian context [Ben Naceur and al. (2006); Guizani and Kouki (2011)] that confirm, by using a different approach, the Lintner’s (1956) conclusions which states that Tunisian’ firms generally tend to avoid a dividend decrease (or cuts) and can constitute a supporting evidence of the dividend information content hypothesis in TSE.

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