External Financing, Growth and capital structure of the firms listed on the Athens Exchange
The study focuses on Greek non-financial firms listed on the Athens Exchange in the period 1998-2002 and shows that only a small fraction of these firms were in a position to finance their growth by exclusively using internal resources with the findings varying depending on the firms’ size. For those firms that had to resort to external financing, short-term financing was favoured compared to long-term financing. While the need for short-term debt did not differ significantly between small and large firms, the need for additional long-term debt was clearly greater for large firms. As regards the determinants of capital structure (as measured by the total-debt-to-assets ratio), the effect of profitability is negative and statistically significant supporting the “pecking order” theory. As expected, tangible assets and firm size have a positive and statistically significant effect on the total debt-to-assets ratio, while short-term assets have the anticipated positive effect only on short-term external financing.
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