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Emerging market corporate leverage and global financial conditions

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  • Alter, Adrian
  • Elekdag, Selim

Abstract

This paper explores how global financial conditions influence corporate leverage growth in emerging markets (EMs). Using a sample of 800,000 listed and non-listed firms across 28 EMs, we find that accommodative global financial conditions—initially proxied with a measure of U.S. monetary policy—are associated with faster leverage growth. The impact is more pronounced for financially constrained firms, such as small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and for EMs whose domestic monetary policy is more aligned with that of the United States. The findings suggest that global financial conditions affect EM firms' leverage growth by influencing domestic interest rates and by relaxing corporate borrowing constraints. Finally, leverage increases disproportionately more for firms that are either relatively less profitable or less solvent when global financial conditions become looser.

Suggested Citation

  • Alter, Adrian & Elekdag, Selim, 2020. "Emerging market corporate leverage and global financial conditions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:62:y:2020:i:c:s0929119920300341
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2020.101590
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    2. Ichiro Iwasaki & Evzen Kocenda & Yoshisada Shida, 2020. "Distressed Acquisitions Evidence from European Emerging Markets," KIER Working Papers 1031, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Tahsin Saadi Sedik & Bo Jiang, 2019. "The Turning Tide: How Vulnerable are Asian Corporates?," IMF Working Papers 2019/093, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Brendan Brown, 2019. "Inflation and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Corporate Leverage," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 47(1), pages 25-34, March.
    5. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli & Machiko Narita & Ratna Sahay, 2020. "US or Domestic Monetary Policy: Which Matters More for Financial Stability?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 68(1), pages 35-65, March.
    6. Zhou, Mengling & Li, Kexin & Chen, Zhongfei, 2021. "Corporate governance quality and financial leverage: Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    7. Lohwasser, Todor S., 2020. "Meta-analyzing the relative performance of venture capital-backed firms," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 4/2020, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate capital structure; Leverage; Global financial conditions; U.S. monetary policy; Emerging market economies; Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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