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Firm financing in India : recent trends and patterns

  • Love, Inessa
  • Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad

Using balance sheet information for nearly 6,000 firms between 1994-2003, this study investigates recent firm financing patterns in India. The paper documents the overall use of debt and, in particular, the role of bank financing (short-term and long-term), trade credit, intrabusiness group borrowing and foreign financing. The study examines financing patterns over time and explores differences across firms by sector, age, ownership type, export orientation, and, in particular, size. In terms of trends, we find that while debt to asset ratios have been relatively stable, nominal debt growth has slowed down in recent years. At the same time, firms'repayment capacity, as measured by the interest coverage ratio has exhibited a U-shaped pattern falling during 1997-99 and recovering in recent years. Throughout the period of study, bank financing as a share of total debt has increased, while borrowing from non-bank financial institutions fell sharply. In terms of differences across firms, the most robust finding is that debt levels increase with firm size. Smaller firms have especially less debt relative to larger firms if they are young (below 10 years since incorporation), if they are in the manufacturing sector, and if they are located in Southern India. Furthermore, while the ratio of debt to assets has been relatively stable for large firms, we observe a significant decline for smaller firms. Overall, the findings presented in the paper provide suggestive (but not definite) evidence of stronger credit constraints for smaller firms.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3476.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3476
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  1. Klapper, Leora & Sarria-Allende, Virginia & Sulla, Victor, 2002. "Small and medium size enterprise financing in Eastern Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2933, The World Bank.
  2. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2002. "Financial and legal constraints to firm growth - Does size matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2784, The World Bank.
  3. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  4. Booth, L. & Asli Demirgu-Kunt, V.A. & Maksimovic, V., 1999. "Capital Structure in Developing Countries," Rotman School of Management - Finance 00-001, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  5. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 1999. "Financial intermediation and growth : Causality and causes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2059, The World Bank.
  7. Saumitra Bhaduri, 2002. "Determinants of capital structure choice: a study of the Indian corporate sector," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(9), pages 655-665.
  8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  9. World Bank, 2003. "India : Sustaining Reform, Reducing Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15046, June.
  10. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
  11. World Bank, 2003. "India : Sustaining Reform, Reducing Poverty," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14617, The World Bank.
  12. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
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