Equity of European Industriel Corporations from 1991 to 1993
Throughout the Member States of the European Union, economic policy debate has centred on the terms of corporate financing, and in particular on whether the companies of each country have sufficient equity to compete in a single market. Moreover, faced with the risk of corporate insolvency, credit institutions consider a certain equity level to be one of several indicators of creditworthiness. Given this situation and within the framework of the work of the European Committee of Central Balance Sheet Offices, Germany, Austria, Spain, France and Italy and the second General Directorate of the European Commission invited a working group , to compare the f-inancial autonomy of European industriel companies. This study covered the period 1991 to 1993 and examined several issues. Do corporate equity levels vary according to the country ? Do these levels vary according to company size, regardless of the country? Do small companies have a specific position in each country? This study is based on an évaluation of corporate solvency, given that equity is used by companies and their financial partners to control risk exposure. After a brief reminder of the role of equity, the study sums up the research conducted since the publication in 1958 of the paper by Modigliani and Miller and gives a critical analysis of the empirical findings of intenational comparisons. All such research must begin by identifying and solving the financial and statistical methodological problems inherent to comparisons of the financing conditions of different countries. The work conducted gives rise to clear conclusions. - Corporate equity levels vary from country to country. These differences are at least partially related to variations in taxation, bankruptcy regulations, the organization of the banking system, the relationship between banks and companies and the financing practices of each country. - An overall analysis is insufficient and must be complemented by an analysis by company size. - The situation of the companies in each country can not be evaluated without taking into account financial requirements. - In France, regardless of the size of the company, the share of equity in overall financial resources appears larger than in other countries. Moreover, the difference between the equity of small and medium-sized companies and that of large corporations is narrower than in Germany or Austria. It should also be noted that this company classification is relatively recent in France.
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