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The debt-maturity structure of small firms in a creditor-oriented environment

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Listed:
  • Dries Heyman
  • Marc Deloof
  • Hubert Ooghe

    () (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

Abstract

Once a firm decides to issue debt, the characteristics of this debt instrument should be considered. One of the critical decisions involves debt maturity. Using a sample of 1091 Belgian small firms from 1996 until 2000, this study analyses the determinants of the corporate debt-maturity structure of small firms in a creditor-oriented s ystem. Consistent with previous empirical evidence on large firms, the present results strongly support the maturity-matching principle. The hypothesis that firms with many growth opportunities will borrow on the short term as a response to the under-investment problem, is not supported. There is a clear relation between the credit worthiness of a firm and the debt-maturity structure. Firms with a better credit score borrow on the long term, whereas firms with a poor credit quality are apparently forced to borrow on the short term. This evidence contradicts the expected U-shaped relationship between credit worthiness and debt maturity. Size negatively influences debt maturity.

Suggested Citation

  • Dries Heyman & Marc Deloof & Hubert Ooghe, 2003. "The debt-maturity structure of small firms in a creditor-oriented environment," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2003-24, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2003-24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pavel K├Ârner, 2007. "The Determinants of Corporate Debt Maturity Structure: Evidence from Czech Firms (in English)," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 57(3-4), pages 142-158, June.
    2. Federico Guerrero & Elliott Parker, 2006. "Financial Liberalization and Corporate Debt Maturity in Thailand, 1993-97," Working Papers 06-001, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
    3. Federico Guerrero, 2006. "Early-Stage Globalization and Corporate Debt Maturity: The Case of South Korea, 1980-94," Working Papers 06-016, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
    4. Cadot, Julien, 2011. "Collaterals, Bank Monitoring and Performance: the Case of Newly Established Wine Farmers," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103414, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Guerrero, Federico, 2007. "Early-stage financial globalization and corporate debt maturity: The case of South Korea, 1980-1994," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 809-824, October.
    6. Hernandez-Canovas, Gines & Koeter-Kant, Johanna, 2006. "SME Financing in Europe: Cross-Country Determinants of Debt Maturity," Serie Research Memoranda 0009, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    debt maturity; capital structure; small firms;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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