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Murya Habbash


This study examines the Environmental Disclosure (ED) practices in Saudi Arabia and the potential relationship with Corporate Governance (CG) , ownership and company structure, following the application of the Saudi 2006 CG code in 2007. The study deepens the understanding of ED and its main determinants in one of the largest economies in the Middle East. A self-constructed ED checklist, based on ISO 26000, is used. We employ regression and content analyses to examine a sample of 267 annual reports covering the period 2007-2011. The analysis finds that the average ED has improved following the application of the Saudi 2006 CG code to 30%, more than double the 14.61% found by Al-Janadi et al. (2013) during 2006-2007. The analysis also finds that audit committee effectiveness, role duality, state and institutional ownerships, firm profitability, and industry sensitivity positively affect ED. However, board independence, family ownership, and firm size are found not to be significant determinants, while a negative significant correlation was found with firm leverage. The results imply that CG regulators and stakeholders should acknowledge the importance of active audit committees comprising relevant experts and independent directors, in addition to the role of state and institutional ownership in enhancing ED. The study covers a five-year period, contrary to the majority of ED studies which focus on only one year. The study helps to fill the gap in ED literature in developing countries. Finally, the study provides a recent evaluation for the Saudi CG code recently applied in 2007.

Key Words: Corporate Governance, Ownership Structure, Environmental Disclosure, Saudi Arabia

How to cite this paper: Habbash, M. (2015). Corporate governance, ownership, company structure and environmental disclosure: Evidence from Saudi Arabia. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 4(4-4), 460-470.