Firm, industry, and country level determinants of capital structure: evidence from Pakistan
South Asian Journal of Global Business Research
Article publication date: 17 October 2016
The purpose of this paper is to find out firm, industry, and country level determinants of capital structure of Pakistani listed non-financial firms.
The authors use a fixed effects panel data model over a 39 years (1972-2010) unbalanced panel data of Pakistani non-financial listed firms to determine the factors that influence capital structure of these firms.
The authors find that Pakistani firms prefer retained earnings to finance their business projects, and debt is easily available for experienced firms. Moreover, socio-economic collusive networks, poor corporate governance mechanism along with weak legal system provide these firms an opportunity to pass on their risk to the creditors (banks).
The data set does not contain factors characterizing inter-industry heterogeneity, therefore, the authors use mean industry leverage and mean industry profitability to explore if any relationship exists between leverage of firms, and their respective industry leverage/profitability.
Pakistani non-financial firms are highly leveraged increasing their probability to face financial distress in erratic economic conditions. As such, the policy makers need to develop capital markets of Pakistan to enable a resilient corporate capital structure. Further, erratic economic conditions of Pakistan create uncertain business environment yielding short-term opportunities and to finance them Pakistani firms use short-term debt as a main financing source. The policy makers need to improve corporate governance mechanism and strengthen legal system that will go a long way to develop Pakistani capital market on sound and sustainable footing.
This is the first study that uses an extended number of variables and discovers financial behavior of firms in a bank-based economy having limited financing options, and facing erratic economic conditions.
This paper is a part of a PhD thesis submitted at the School of Accounting, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Dalian, PR China.
Ahsan, T., Wang, M. and Qureshi, M.A. (2016), "Firm, industry, and country level determinants of capital structure: evidence from Pakistan", South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 362-384. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAJGBR-05-2015-0036
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