Corporate Governance and Voluntary Risk and Forward-Looking Disclosures

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of corporate governance on risk and forward-looking disclosures in Qatar. Design/methodology/approach – The authors automatically measure levels of risk and forward-looking disclosures in the annual reports of Qatari firms for the period 2008–2014. The authors also use two ways clustered error pooled panel regressions to examine the determinants of these disclosures. Findings – The authors find that firms with a higher percentage of foreign ownership disclose more forward-looking information; conversely, board size has a negative impact on the forward-looking disclosure. Financial firms tend to disclose less forward-looking information, however, they tend to disclose more forward-looking information after the 2008 global financial crisis. The authors also find negative relationships between the risk disclosure and both the number of non-executive members of the board of directors and the duality role of the CEO. Research limitations/implications – The study uses the quantity of disclosure as a proxy for the quality of disclosure. Practical implications – The findings should help the users of corporate annual reports in Qatar to understand managerial incentives for reporting risk and forward-looking information. This should help regulators to set a proper set of disclosure rules. Moreover, this study increases our understanding of the behavior of international investors and the board characteristics (i.e. board size) in motivating risk and forward-looking disclosures in Qatari firms. Originality/value – The authors provide the original empirical evidence on the impact of corporate ownership and board characteristics on risk and forward-looking disclosures for Qatari firms using two ways clustered error pooled panel regressions.