Corporate Governance in Real Estate Sector: Evidence from GCC Countries
The investment landscape in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is undergoing a paradigm shift due to stabilizing oil prices, renewed diversification strategies, expansionary policies and an influx of FDI, all of which acts as a fillip to the real estate (RE) sector in particular after a long period of uncertainty especially after the burst of the RE bubble in 2008. The present study contributes to the contemporary RE literature by constructingan index namely the CGI (Corporate Governance Index)to measure the extent to which listed RE companies in the GCC adhere to corporate governance standards. Merging the numerous dimensions of a firm's governance system into one number thus serving as a vital precursor to RE investment decisions in the GCC region. We have collected data from five countries in the Arabian Gulf region includingUAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar as on 30th September 2018. The final sample consists of 59 real estate companies listed in the respective countries stock exchanges. Results derived indicate that the highest CG adherence levels are adopted by Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, thus validating their position in the 2016 MENA Real Estate transparency index. The authors attribute the firm’s entrepreneurial identity along with its governance capacity, socio-cognitive capability and the degree of regulatory enforcement within the context of a dominant governance logic as vital reasons for variations in adherence levels.
Keywords - GCC, Real Estate, Corporate Governance, CGI