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Covenants and Small Business Lending: The Finnish Case

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  • Jyrki Niskanen

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  • Mervi Niskanen

Abstract

This study examines the use and determinants of covenants in Finnish small firms' loans. The results show that 72 of the 642 loan contracts examined include at least one covenant. Negative covenants are more common than affirmative covenants in our sample. We use loan characteristics, firm characteristics, and bank relationship variables to explain the use of covenants. Our results suggest that loans with real estate collateral are less likely to contain covenants than loans with other types of collateral. Larger firms are more likely to offer covenants, while the inverse holds for manager-owned firms. Firms with high corporate leverage, a high level of investments and a high sales growth rate offer covenants more often than other firms. Bank relationship length, changes of main bank and interbank competition also affect the use of covenants.

Suggested Citation

  • Jyrki Niskanen & Mervi Niskanen, 2004. "Covenants and Small Business Lending: The Finnish Case," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 137-149, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:23:y:2004:i:2:p:137-149
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    Cited by:

    1. Menkhoff, Lukas & Neuberger, Doris & Rungruxsirivorn, Ornsiri, 2012. "Collateral and its substitutes in emerging markets’ lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 817-834.
    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 & 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.
    4. Jyrki Niskanen & Jukka Karjalainen & Mervi Niskanen & Jussi Karjalainen, 2011. "Auditor gender and corporate earnings management behavior in private Finnish firms," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 26(9), pages 778-793, October.

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