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The information content of bank loan covenants

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Author Info

  • Cem Demiroglu
  • Christopher M. James

Abstract

This article examines the determinants of financial covenant thresholds in bank loan agreements and information conveyed through the selection of tight financial covenants. We find that riskier firms and firms with fewer investment opportunities select tighter financial covenants. We also find that selection of tight covenants is associated with improvements in the covenant variable and declines in investment spending and net debt issuance. We observe these changes also for borrowers that do not breach their covenants, suggesting that they are not simply the result of creditor influence conditional on a technical default. Furthermore, we find that violations of tightly set covenants have significantly less of an impact on the borrower's investment spending and net debt issuance than violations of loosely set covenants. Overall, our results suggest that the selection of tight covenants conveys information concerning future changes in covenant variables, investment and financial policies, and the outcome of covenant violations. The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Proceedings with number 1051.

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Length: 148-182
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Conference on Bank Structure and Competition (2007: 43rd) ; The Mixing of Banking & Commerce
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:1051

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Related research

Keywords: Debt ; Bank loans;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dezső, Cristian L. & Ross, David Gaddis, 2012. "Are banks happy when managers go long? The information content of managers’ vested option holdings for loan pricing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 395-410.
  2. Goss, Allen & Roberts, Gordon S., 2011. "The impact of corporate social responsibility on the cost of bank loans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1794-1810, July.
  3. Sugato Chakravarty & Chiraphol N. Chiyachantana & Christine Jiang, 2012. "The Choice of Trading Venue and Relative Price Impact of Institutional Trading: ADRs versus the Underlying Securities in their Local Markets," Working Papers 1012, Purdue University, Department of Consumer Sciences.
  4. Devos, Erik & Dhillon, Upinder & Jagannathan, Murali & Krishnamurthy, Srinivasan, 2012. "Why are firms unlevered?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 664-682.
  5. Achleitner, Ann-Kristin & Braun, Reiner & Tappeiner, Florian, 2009. "Structure and determinants of financial covenants in leveraged buyouts - evidence from an economy with strong creditor rights," CEFS Working Paper Series 2009-15, Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS), Technische Universität München.
  6. Lin, Chen & Ma, Yue & Malatesta, Paul & Xuan, Yuhai, 2012. "Corporate ownership structure and bank loan syndicate structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 1-22.
  7. repec:csr:wpaper:1014 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Jose M. Berrospide & Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Briana D. Sullivan, 2012. "Credit line use and availability in the financial crisis: the importance of hedging," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Badertscher, Brad A. & Katz, Sharon P. & Rego, Sonja O., 2013. "The separation of ownership and control and corporate tax avoidance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 228-250.
  10. Tim R. Adam & Daniel Streitz, 2013. "Bank Lending Relationships and the Use of Performance-Sensitive Debt," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-027, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  11. Flavio Bazzana & Marco Palmieri, 2012. "How to increase the efficiency of bond covenants: a proposal for the Italian corporate market," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 327-346, October.
  12. Nandy, Monomita & Lodh, Suman, 2012. "Do banks value the eco-friendliness of firms in their corporate lending decision? Some empirical evidence," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 83-93.
  13. Heitor Almeida & Filippo Ippolito & Ander Perez & Viral Acharya, 2012. "Credit Lines as Monitored Liquidity Insurance: Theory and Evidence," 2012 Meeting Papers 823, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Zhang, Zhipeng, 2009. "Recovery Rates and Macroeconomic Conditions: The Role of Loan Covenants," MPRA Paper 17521, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Demiroglu, Cem & James, Christopher, 2011. "The use of bank lines of credit in corporate liquidity management: A review of empirical evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 775-782, April.

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