Accounting & Finance

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    Financial Efficiency and Its Impact on Renewable Energy Demand and CO2 Emissions: Do Eco-Innovations Matter for Highly Polluted Asian Economies?
    (MDPI, 2022-09) Hafeez, Muhammad; Rehman, Saif Ur; Faisal, C. M. Nadeem; Yang, Juan; Ullah, Sana; Kaium, Md. Abdul; Malik, Muhammad Yousaf
    The analysis aims to examine the impact of eco-innovation and financial efficiency on CO2 emissions and renewable energy consumption in highly polluted Asian economies, including China, India, Russia, and Japan. For empirical analysis, we have applied the ARDL pooled mean group (ARDL-PMG) model. The long-run estimated coefficient of environmental innovations is positively significant in both renewable energy models and negatively significant in the CO2 emissions model. These results imply that environmental innovations help facilitate renewable energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. On the other side, the estimates of financial development are insignificant in both renewable energy and CO2 emissions models. However, the estimates of financial institution efficiency and financial markets are positively significant in both renewable energy and CO2 emissions models, implying that financial institutions and market efficiency increase renewable energy consumption and decrease CO2 emissions. © 2022 by the authors.
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    Operational and investment efficiency of investment trust companies: Do foreign firms outperform domestic firms?
    (Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH, 2022-12) Nourani, Mohammad; Kweh, Qian Long; Lu, Wen-Min; Gurrib, Ikhlaas
    This study examines the efficiency of investment trust companies (ITCs) from 2011 to 2020 using a meta-frontier two-stage network data envelopment analysis (DEA) based on the directional distance function (DDF). We improved the accuracy of the efficiency measurement and added a network-based ranking component to rank the top-performing entities. In the group-specific technology assessment, foreign ITCs excel in investment efficiency. Meanwhile, in the meta-technology assessment, domestic ITCs outperform foreign ITCs in terms of both investment and operational efficiencies. Group-specific technology efficiency scores were found to be lower than or equal to the meta-technology efficiency scores for both the operational and investment stages. Based on the network-based ranking approach, Yuan Ta, a domestic ITC that ranked fourth in the operational stage and first in the investment stage, can be used as a reliable benchmark. This study will enable practitioners to gain a better understanding of the performance of ITCs operating under heterogeneous technologies. © 2022, The Author(s).
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    How does stakeholder engagement through environmental, social, and governance affect eco-efficiency and profitability efficiency? Zooming into Apple Inc.'s counterparts
    (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2022) Lu, Wen-Min; Kweh, Qian Long; Ting, Irene Wei Kiong; Ren, Chunya
    As global ecological degradation intensifies, a trade-off has arisen between environmental protection and production efficiency to achieve sustainable development for the environment, society, and the company itself. However, the potential reverse causality relationship between environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and corporate efficiency may lead to confusion. This study estimates the eco-efficiency of Apple Incorporated's value-chain counterparts in the first stage and creates values and profitability in the second stage of efficiency evaluation. Results obtained from the (i) directional distance function in the two-stage data envelopment analysis (DEA), (ii) additive efficiency decomposition two-stage network DEA model, and (iii) network slacks-based measure model are consistent. That is, Apple counterparts manage more efficient eco-efficiency than profitability efficiency, implying that eco-efficiency is their competitive advantage. We thus also run a regression analysis to examine how the ESG ratings of Apple counterparts explain their eco-efficiency and profitability efficiency. Although the overall ESG rating positively explains the efficiencies, we found that the individual governance rating shows no statistically significant effect. The regression results provide insight for practitioners on the importance of investing in the three aspects of a firm's collective conscientiousness for societal and environmental governance. This paper integrates companies' eco-efficiency and profitability efficiency to resolve the conflict between environmental issues and production efficiency. It also analyzes in depth the effects of ESG and its three individual factors on eco-, profitability, and average efficiencies. The diversity of research methods also provides new ideas for future research related to firm efficiency. © 2022 ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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    EFFECTS OF AIRCRAFT LEASED/OWNED ON OPERATIONAL AND WEALTH-CREATION EFFICIENCIES
    (Fabrizio Serra Editore Srl, 2021-06) Kweh, Qian Long; Ting, Irene Wei Kiong; Lu, Wen-Min; Lin, Cheng-Hsien
    This study examines the operational performance and wealth-creation efficiency of 22 global airlines over the period 2005-2017. That is, an airline efficiency evaluation model is proposed and assessed by employing a dynamic DEA model with network structure via a slacks-based measure approach. Moreover, this study performs a DuPont analysis and examines how leasing or owning aircraft in the airline industry explains airline efficiencies. Results corroborate that airlines with more owned aircraft relative to leased aircraft are more efficient than their counterparts in all aspects. DuPont analysis reveals that the former group of airlines' positive return on equity (ROE) on average is attributable to their higher net profit margin and asset turnover ratio, but lower equity multiplier compared with those of the latter group of airlines. The number of aircraft owned (leased) has a significantly positive (negative) effect on airline efficiencies. Taken together, this study offers empirical evidence for the relevance of change in accounting standard, particularly leasing in this study, in the transportation economics. Airlines should manage well not only their resources, but also their aircraft fleet deployment. In addition, this study points out the relevance of the textbook-based DuPont system in analyzing airlines' financial performance. © 2021 Fabrizio Serra Editore Srl. All rights reserved.
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    Spatialoral graph neural network based on node attention
    (Sciendo, 2022) Li, Qiang; Wan, Jun; Zhang, Wucong; Kweh, Qian Long
    Recently, the method of using graph neural network based on skeletons for action recognition has become more and more popular, due to the fact that a skeleton can carry very intuitive and rich action information, without being affected by background, light and other factors. The spatialoral graph convolutional neural network (ST-GCN) is a dynamic skeleton model that automatically learns spatialoral model from data, which not only has stronger expression ability, but also has stronger generalisation ability, showing remarkable results on public data sets. However, the ST-GCN network directly learns the information of adjacent nodes (local information), and is insufficient in learning the relations of non-adjacent nodes (global information), such as clapping action that requires learning the related information of non-adjacent nodes. Therefore, this paper proposes an ST-GCN based on node attention (NA-STGCN), so as to solve the problem of insufficient global information in ST-GCN by introducing node attention module to explicitly model the interdependence between global nodes. The experimental results on the NTU-RGB+D set show that the node attention module can effectively improve the accuracy and feature representation ability of the existing algorithms, and obviously improve the recognition effect of the actions that need global information. © 2021 Qiang Li et al., published by Sciendo 2021.