In this paper, we content analyze chairman’s statements to measure the tone of Covid-related disclosure in Omani listed firms for the year ending 2020. We also examine whether audit committee (AC) characteristics influence disclosure tone. After controlling for corporate board and firm characteristics, our regression analysis shows that two AC characteristics (gender diversity and overlapped directors) positively affect good news information and negatively affect bad news information. It also shows that AC size positively affects bad news information. Though, no evidence is found that the independence, meeting frequency, multi-directorship and financial expertise of AC have an impact on the disclosure tone of Covid-related disclosure. Our paper contributes to the growing literature by being the first empirical evidence to examine whether AC characteristics can influence the disclosure tone during the pandemic of Covid-19. Our results carry implications to the investors and regulatory bodies that AC characteristics matters for determining the tone of Covid-related disclosure.
- Covid-related disclosure tone
- audit committee
- chairman statement
- Sultanate of Oman