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Financial covenants in the markets for public and private debt

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  • Paul Mather
  • Graham Peirson

Abstract

The public debt contracts surveyed in Whittred and Zimmer (1986) and Stokes and Tay (1988) were issued between 1962 and 1985, and there has been significant macroeconomic, institutional and regulatory change since that time. We analyse a sample of 36 recently issued Australian public debt contracts and document a considerable change in the 'package' of financial covenants used in public debt contracts. The covenant package is now less restrictive and the types of covenants used are more heterogenous. We also survey a sample of 41 recent Australian private debt contracts. These contracts contain a greater number, variety and, collectively, more restrictive set of financial covenants than those public debt contracts we survey, supporting theory which suggests that covenant restrictive and renegotiation-flexible contracts are more suited to borrowers contracting with financial intermediaries in private debt markets. We also note differences in accounting rules associated with financial covenants used in these private debt contracts. Copyright The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2006 AFAANZ.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Mather & Graham Peirson, 2006. "Financial covenants in the markets for public and private debt," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 46(2), pages 285-307.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:acctfi:v:46:y:2006:i:2:p:285-307
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    Cited by:

    1. Jabbouri, Imad, 2016. "Determinants of corporate dividend policy in emerging markets: Evidence from MENA stock markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 283-298.
    2. Brockman, Paul & Unlu, Emre, 2009. "Dividend policy, creditor rights, and the agency costs of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 276-299, May.
    3. Flavio Bazzana & Luigi Mittone & Luciano Andreozzi, 2012. "The freeze-out bond exchange offer. An experimental approach," CEEL Working Papers 1204, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    4. Karen Benson & Peter M Clarkson & Tom Smith & Irene Tutticci, 2015. "A review of accounting research in the Asia Pacific region," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 40(1), pages 36-88, February.
    5. 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.

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