Corporate Debt Overhang and Investment in Russia: The Role of Financial Conditions and Government Participation
After the global financial crisis Russian macroeconomic dynamics changed dramatically: reduced access to external financing and the worsening economic outlook led to very weak investment dynamics. We test and confirm the hypothesis that one of the reasons is high debt burden of Russian companies - debt overhang. We propose a new indicator for debt overhang. Now the issue of financing investment in Russia is especially important: due to political reasons, the international capital markets are closed for most Russian companies. Special attention is given to the active participation of the government in the capital of companies. Companies associated with the state have formal and informal preferences, easier access to debt financing and may have soft budget constraints.
Being one item by definition investment is actually not homogenous: generally, there are two major types – capital investment and investment in M&A deals. They are different from firm’s point of view and influence economic growth through different channels. In this paper, we examine the relationship between new capital investments and investments in acquisitions in Russia using data for more than one hundred companies in 2004-2014. The period is split into two sub-samples – period of rapid growth (before the global financial crisis of 2008) and post-crisis one (after 2009). Our results show that relationship between fixed investments and investments in acquisitions is opposite for two periods. In the first period, relationship between two types of investment was positive for non-state companies and insignificant for state ones that possibly means that companies did not face the choice of investment form. After the global financial crisis, when monetary conditions and access to external capital markets for Russia tightened considerably, the relationship between investment in new capital and investment in acquisitions became negative. It proves that companies faced a trade-off between two investment forms. Moreover, acquisitions became dependent on company’s profitability. Therefore, the trade-off can be more severe in developing economies since they are more dependent on external financing. These results can provide policy implications given the new understanding of financial constraint significance for investment.
The focus of this paper is the reasons of suboptimal investment policy that consists of over- or underinvestment. We consider the definitions of risk-shifting and risk avoidance effects that lead to suboptimal investments. These problems are connected with the agency conflicts in the firm between different parties: shareholders, debt holders and managers. Since the preferences of claimholders vary from one stage of the life-cycle to another, the incentives for over- and underinvestment differ in the stages of the life-cycle. The originality and the focus of this paper are the reasons for the exposure of overinvestment and underinvestment at different life-cycle stages. The research was conducted on a sample of Russian nonfinancial companies from the period 2003-2012. This sample was divided into three life-cycle stages: growth, maturity and decline. The method of life-cycle stages identification was modified in order to use only available data and make the model more business oriented. Risk-shifting and risk avoidance, as the reasons to the problem of suboptimal investment were studied. For this purpose the estimations with one of the effects were identified. The life-cycle stages, at which the effects took place, were determined, and also the strength of risk-shifting and risk avoidance was identified with the help of the regression analysis. In addition there was considered a way to mitigate these effects. According to the results they might be eliminated by the adjustment of short-term debt level.
We study the relationship between SMS (small medium size) firm ownership structure and obstacle to finance. The empirical research considers both the concentration of the company's ownership (controlling owner) and the presence of foreign participants in the equity capital. Our aim is to identify those determinants of financial markets (bond market development), legal institutions and firms characteristics in the transition economies of the post soviet countries that can be considered as barriers to attracting financial resources. This paper sheds light on large shareholders’ influence on obstacle to finance.
This study investigates the puzzle of zero-debt in emerging markets using a sample of firms from Eastern Europe during 2000-2013. The results of this paper are in line with the previous research of firms from developed markets. Firms that are financially constrained do not use debt as a result of credit rationing while financially unconstrained firms intentionally eschew debt to maintain financial flexibility and avoid underinvestment incentives. Furthermore, this study provides new insights into unconstrained firms’ performance during different economic situations. Firms that strategically avoid debt show better financial results than levered firms.
This paper analyzes international high-skilled migration caused by financial frictions in educational market. I develop a model of learning in which acquisition of skill is only possible through personal interaction with a skilled individual; the income of the skilled is sensitive to financial constraints for the unskilled. Cross-country differences in such constraints have a multiplicative effect on the skill premium, causing outmigration of skilled individuals from a less developed country. I study welfare implications of such brain drain for the sending and receiving countries. Although it makes more difficult skill acquisition in the sending country, the unskilled may still be better off: increased cost of skill acquisition is offset by higher income once the skill has been acquired. For the receiving country, I identify a phenomenon of immiserizing immigration: a depletion of the stock of skill in the sending country due to brain drain hinders further production of skill, which may hurt the receiving country. Additionally, I find that increased openness of the sending country to migration and the resultant accelerated brain drain increase the incentives of the country government to reduce financial frictions.