The impact of financial distress risk on equity returns: A case study of non-financial firms of Pakistan Stock Exchange



Abstract. This study aims to investigate the relationship of financial distress risk and the equity returns of financially distressed firms listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). Several studies have suggested that firm distress risk factor could be behind the book-to-market and size effects. Fama and French three factor Model (1993) is used for examining the relationship among equity returns, financial distress risk, size and book-to-market equity ratio. Non-financial firms listed on PSX are taken from the time-period of 2010-2016. Ohlson’s O-Score (1980) “bankruptcy prediction model” is used for the prediction of financial distress risk and forecasted the distress risk firms listed on PSX. The panel (unbalanced) data is used to get the empirical findings and showed that the financial distress risk and book-to-market equity effect are statistically insignificant to explain the stock returns of distress firms due to the inefficiency of market. However, size effect is significant in explaining the stock returns of distress firms. The study also reveals that it is important to predict financial distress risk with a better predictor in order to avoid the uncertainties in PSX.

Keywords. Financial distress risk, Equity returns, Book-to-market effect, Size, Pakistan Stock Exchange.

JEL. G30, G32.


Financial distress risk; Equity returns; Book-to-market effect; Size; Pakistan Stock Exchange.

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