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The capital structure of Swiss companies: an empirical analysis using dynamic panel data

  • Philippe Gaud

    (HEC-University of Geneva)

  • Elion Jani

    (HEC-University of Geneva)

  • Martin Hoesli

    (HEC-University of Geneva, FAME and University of Aberdeen Business School)

  • André Bender

    (HEC-University of Geneva and FAME)

In this paper, we analyze the determinants of the capital structure for a panel of 106 Swiss companies listed in the Swiss stock exchange. Both static and dynamic tests are performed for the period 1991-2000. It is found that the size of companies, the importance of tangible assets and business risk are positively related to leverage, while growth and profitability are negatively associated with leverage. The sign of these relations suggest that both the pecking order theory and trade off hypothesis are at work in explaining the capital structure of Swiss companies, although more evidence exists to validate the latter theory. Our analysis also shows that Swiss firms adjust toward a target debt ratio, but the adjustment process is much slower than in most other countries. It is argued that reasons for this can be found in the inst itutional context.

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Paper provided by International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering in its series FAME Research Paper Series with number rp68.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp68
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