Study on the determinants of corporate borrowing


The determinants of corporate borrowing was an empirical research, hence a terrific amount of prior researches focused on exploring the determinants of corporate borrowing, since 1960s. Corporate borrowing decision effects remained as an area of growing interest for researchers in the last three decades, as the presence of the a phenomenon has been evidenced even in the most developed capital markets of the world (Guedes & Opler, 1996). In addition, the sales growth was defined as a pinpoint determinant for firm financial decision towards firm sales growth opportunities and financial debt capacity, in the same studies.

The debt and equity remained main areas of interest which were observed for decision making in corporate finance of the governance systems. As the earlier researches’ explored the factor of debt maturity but usually did not focus on sales growth as determinant of corporate debt (Myers & Stewart, 1977). In addition, the same study focused on including and exploring the sales growth of firm as a determinant of corporate borrowing.

Firms, in general, financed projects with long-term debt to avoid riskiness of project and hide the mismanagement activities under the cash flow of project, the cash flows were obtained from investment of the project before the debt maturity date (Guedes & Opler, 1996). While same studies further addressed an important issue for firm, if the projects were financed with short-term debt. For instance, according to Barclay, Michael, Clifford and Smith (1995) that the term and conditions for maturity of debt of firm’s were reduced with growth opportunities, and raised with the size and credit quality of firm. Myers and Stewart (1977) also suggested firms to shorten debt when cost of contracting was high.

Firm’s activities to finance long-term debt, with aspect to attaining firm’s growth opportunities such sales growth; had significant impact on short-term debt of the firm due to increased level of inventory and level of failed to sustain receivables turnover (Stohs, Mark & Mauer, 1996). Further, the same studies defined that less risky and probably larger firm used long-term debt financing with meager growth opportunities, so the liquidity risk was highly involved for firm short-term borrowing decision. According to Diamond and Douglas (1991a) debt risk was defined as the borrower risk or the ability of borrower to repay interest, principle amount and timely fulfill claim’s terms.

Froot, Kenneth, David and Stein (1993) addressed that loss of projects could be a caused by short-term debt if project has high refinanced interest rate and imperfections of credit market. Firms also experienced the distress for indirect cost of financial such that loss of inventory or the incremental proportion of inventory held and decline in the receivable turnover for the purpose of firm sales growth. Rizzi and Joe (1994) addressed the sales growth and risk that only high quality firms were able and sustained in the credit market for long term borrowing, while the low quality firm screened out from long term debt market. While the available short term debt market had high risk for low quality firms, even that firms financed to cope up growth opportunities, usually firms growth opportunities were identified with sales growth of the firm.

1.2 Problem Statement

The debt financing was considered as one of the crucial issues in the corporate financing, the sales growth of the firm was one of the major determinants of the corporate debt financing. The purpose for the study of sales growth and debt financing is that this is the crucial issue for firms that how efficiently to avail firm’s growth opportunities such that sales growth. The objective of this research study was to explore and know that how borrowing decision of the firm such that short term debt was affected by the sales growth of the firm.

The fundamental purpose of study was to observe the impact of sales growth in detail by Guedes and Opler (1996) and Saumitra (2002) presented the detailed information regarding the determinants of corporate borrowing such as sales growth and the firm debt financing decision in Pakistan. The scope of this study was to analyze the impact of sales growth on corporate borrowing such that short term debt financing decision of the firm to avail growth opportunities of the firm on the basis of debt financial decision factors.

1.3 Hypotheses

The central query was raised in front of firms to borrow new financing as cope up the growth opportunities of the firm in the form of sales growth opportunities. New investment was required for the operational and the manufacturing activities of the firm whether to use debt financing or not, if the debt financing decision was to be used so the lender and borrower noticed that at what level of risk and the sales growth of the firm may affect the short term debt financing decision. In selection of the financing decision; firm’s past, current and expected activities was crucial for lender and borrower, such that sales growth, inventory held, and liquidity condition of the firm. Many Authors as Guedes and Opler (1996) and Saumitra (2002) discussed the sales growth as a main factor affecting to debt financing decision of the firm in research. The Hypothesized relationship of the variable is provided below:

H1: There is positive impact of sales growth on corporate borrowing.

H2: There is a positive impact of inventory held on corporate borrowing.

1.4 Outline of the Study

The research presented the introduction of the thesis in chapter one, which included the problem statement of the study, scope of research, hypotheses etc. Literature review of the study was presented in chapter two with review by different authors on impact of sales growth on corporate borrowing. The research methodology was described in chapter three with justification of the selection of variables, sample size, sampling technique and statistical technique used in analysis of the study, and also developed model were described. After processing of data, the analysis interpretation of the results was described in the chapter four with hypothesis assessment summary. The summarized findings, conclusion, discussions, implications and recommendations, and suggested future directions for the empirical research on impact of sales growth on corporate borrowing was defined in chapter five. References and appendixes for the study were given in chapter six and at the end of study respectively.



A lot of research has already been conducted in the field of identifying the best determinants of Corporate Borrowing by various researchers. Most of the research work suggested that the corporate borrowing vary from company to company and similarly from decision factor to factor.

Marsh (1982) addressed that the borrowing decisions were taken by firms both by raising debt or finance, here question raised for corporation, what level of financing is required and which financing decision would be better for firm health. The firms borrowing decisions biased over its target level of debt, if its debt was below the target level of debt, so, the decision of debt financing would taken, otherwise financing decision was taken by firms due to signal of existing level of borrowing was above its target level of debt. The significant flotation costs for existence of corporation’s means that companies required to plan issues with objective to minimize both costs of its target ratio deviation and flotation costs. Over time fluctuating, it gave rise to infrequent issues of firm with its targeted debt ratio and firms clearly identified that what its level of target is.

Miller and Rock (1977) debated over debt and explained two points; first, shift issue occurred in firm decision towards either equity or debt due to any change in level of tax, hence issue effect either temporary lasting until equilibrium level was restored, or shift issue remained permanent over target ratio of firms. The second point were elaborated that the probability of firm financial distresses and systematic risk level influenced the target debt levels of firm, it was defined that the highly operating risk of firm used the less level of debt financing.

Myers, Brealey and Schaefer (1977) argued that companies avoid fixed interest rate of long term debt due to uncertainty of future rates of inflation and instead of long term debt rely over variable rate of short term debt. Barges (1968) explained the ability of a firm towards sales growth rate and capacity of debt, the explanation were shown with two factors, first the expected growth rate of future earnings of firm and the probability of expected sales growth and earnings of firm. Generally, high rate of expected future earning signify a greater capacity of a firm to carry debt; hence low expected future earnings mean the opposite. The degree of uncertainty for any level of expected future earnings for debt capacity of firm was served by knowing a limiting factor.

Barclay et al. (1995) showed that credit quality and size moderately effect on firm’s to augment its debts term to maturity, and firm’s debt falls with growth opportunities. In a related article, Stohs et al. (1996) defined that larger firms most likely used the long term debt to avail the growth opportunity of its sales.

The earlier studies examined the corporate debt maturity on behalf of issues of incremental debt rather than to investigate the maturity of liabilities of firm on balance sheet. By studying the liabilities to assets on balance sheets could answer some uninvestigated questions about impact of sales growth on corporate borrowings.

Myers et al. (1977) suggested that agency cost and problems of debt can be controlled by firm to shortening the worth of its debt with respect to the volume of its sales. While some firms gain incentives from liquidity risk to borrow long term debt, it may not be able to compensate investors to bear credit risk of long-term debt for the sake of sales growth; it may indicate the low quality projects (Diamond & Douglas, 1991.) and (Stiglitz, Joeph & Weiss, 1981). Hence the low-quality firms can’t sustain their position or can be screened out from long-term debt market, only high credit quality firms can be stable and able to borrow long-term debts. In contrast, larger firms were defined for long run as having higher likely possibilities to survive than smaller firms (Queen, Maggie & Richard, 1987).

Brick, Ivan and Ravid (1985) examined that interest payments affect the borrowers and lenders with respect to firms’ volume of sales due to different time patterns. The interest text shield was argued that borrowers seek to maximize the present value by accelerating interest payments, while lenders priorities to diminish the present value of tax charges by slow downing interest payments.

Leff (1979), Khanna and Palepu (2000) addressed that the dominant perspective and minimizing perspective of transaction costs on business groups plays a crucial role on firm’s affiliations with these groups to overcome the barriers in an inefficient market. The view of transaction cost minimizing is characterized by weak governance system of firms, in part due to weak legal institutions or under developed intermediaries. Increase in the external financing investment cost may occur due to association of agency cost problems with market imperfections. However, this study will not develop and test the hypothetical views of business groups.

Mitchell (1991) finds no support on the firm choice to match their asset maturities with maturity of debt issues. In a similar on debt issues, Guedes and Opler (1994) argue that high grade firms with large investment issue short-term debt. Diamond's (1991) predicted that active participant’s part in short-term credit markets was taken by the higher-rated firms to avail growth opportunities of the firm.

Auerbach and Alan (1979) also argued that growth rate of sales and leverage are inversely proportion because the interest payment of tax deductibility was considered less valuable to the larger or fast growing firms. The firm's annual sales growth rate in total assets was used as a growth rate of proxy.

Asset maturity was defined as an important factor for corporate borrowing and plays stable role to predict the debt maturity of a firm. Myers et al. (1977) argued that long-term assets of firm can support to gain more long-term debt. In contrast, Titman, Sheridan and Wessels (1988) analyzed debt maturity on the basis of balance sheet and viewed the evidences that smaller firms rely on higher proportion of short-term debt with objective to minimize long-term debt flotation costs. Barclay et al. both addressed that smaller firms more likely with growth opportunities rely on a smaller proportion of debt that would exceeds 3 years. Myers and Stewart (1977) expressed the views on these evidences that debt maturity is used by firms to control interest conflicts between debt and equity holders.

The preceding papers provided useful approaches for firms’ debt maturity choices; hence the measure had various limitations. First, the term-to-maturity in the corporate borrowing provided the information just about incremental financing choices. The debt maturity average of the firm’s existing liabilities test relate to the terms-to-maturity of debt issues to balance sheet variables such as asset maturity or return on assets (Stohs et al. 1996).

Myers et al. defined the borrowing decisions of firms by using two indicators for growth: sales growth and growth of firm total assets. The research study focused to examine the behavior of firm borrowing decision’s and concluded that; to prevent the agency cost of long term debt, most of the firms proffer short term debt decisions instead of long term debt. While Froot et al. (1993), Lucas, Deborah and McDonald (1990), and Kale, Jayant and Thomas (1990) examined the firm growth with three indicators of growth: sales growth, growth of firm’s total assets and growth of employing size of firm, and concluded that firm growth is independent of firm size. To study firms’ complete size distribution, the several alternative forms of samples were used, so, the variables were leading each others, while the definite relationship for alternative form of samples were crucially assumed and it was derived that firm growth decreases with all three indicators for agency cost of long-term debt financing, hence the sales growth were certain.

Loughran, Tim, & Ritter J. (1995) accentuated the importance of firm growth, debt financing decision and changes in market structure. Mansfield addressed that debt financing is better when growth opportunities of firm were available and demanded, so the profitability of firm was certain and debt financing was benefited as the tax advantage of firm.

DeAngelo and Masulis (1980) examined the financing decisions of firm and showed that firm value was being affected by the financing decisions of the firm, if the firm has to avail certain growth opportunities, so the debt financing decisions was defined as an effective tax advantage and resulted decline in non-debt tax shields. Firm financing decision except debt financing resulted without tax shield beneficiaries, debt interest and principle payments were excluded from earnings of firm before tax applied and included the net short term losses in taxable income and then the corporate taxes was being applied over taxable income. Hence it was addressed that the profitability of firm and the proportion of profitability over assets was affected by the corporate tax.

Gan (2007) addressed to normalize the loan payment balances of prior debts and lending decisions. It was explained that the payment of debt balances of loans slowly and present value of generated profits exceeded the present value of total payments which were gradually paid. It has also an impact over firm capital and the proportion of debt over capital, the ratio of firm’s capital was reduced with the excess of debt. Firm’s health with proportion of debt to capital explained that healthy capital was being shown from the borrowers willingness to repay gradually loan payment, and lenders willingness to lend. Debt financing and loan payments has also an impact over firm net profitability and the proportion of net earnings over firm total assets or return on assets, it must be paid even in bed time of firm, so well, required payments reduces the firm profitability and return on assets. The proportionate of earnings over total assets showed the efficiency of firm that how well the firm has utilized its assets to bear the cost of financing. Return on assets and prior debt to capital worth was used by means of lenders amount and implicitly measure the worthiness of firm capital. Dedoussis and Afroditi (2010) argued the problems with characteristics of a firm such as assets value or growth opportunities were communicated inability of firm to outside lenders, so that investment decisions were affected by net worth of firm if the discrepancy exists between firm internal and external financing.

Hayashi (1982) explained that marginal profitability was covered by firms to expanding the business and sales of firm with bearing the moderate changes in firm expenditure. The described expansion were done by corporations with various financing decisions, it was suggested that the debt financing is better to avail if the market was shown under green signals of demand, if the market’s demand were not shown so the firms prevent the debt financing because of interest payment which must be paid even in bad time of cash flows.

Hadlock (1998) assumed that financiers were indecisive about the factual value of firm’s assets, so expectations were formed based on the investment amount that firm requests to carry out. If the firm requested for the maximum amount subsequently the investors were not capable to discriminate between firms with large resources or low resources. So the large assets of firm with low claims send a green signal to investor to putting money for debt investors. While it send the signal to equity provider to cutting the amount of investment if the money is required for new project establishment because it shorten its net earnings as well as the earning of shareholders.



3.1 Method of Data Collection

Data was obtained from the website of Karachi Stock Exchange KSE-100 Index and Joint Stock Companies’ Balance Sheet Analysis specified by State Bank of Pakistan in periodical listed on the KSE (2004-2009). The period of study covered with data of five years as sample of 2005-09. The opted sample size of all cement sector firms was taken from Karachi Stock Exchange-100 Index and the firms whose data were not available in the sample year of 2005-09 were excluded from the study. The objective behind the insertion of the firms in the sample was to explore debt financing behavior of cement firms significantly rely over sales growth opportunities or not.

The major issue of data availability was faced in this research. The source of secondary data was adopted for the sampled data collection of this research study. In accordance with the research studies limitations three firms of cement sector were excluded from the study because two of the firms were newly listed and introduced in the Pakistani market and third was dropped from the KSE-100 Index during sample years of the study.

The observed and expected aspects regarding the sales growth and debt financing was analyzed in this research. The external data sources were used to cope up the purpose of collection of data, such that general business publications, State Bank of Pakistan, company’s annual reports, internet publications and books were used. The data required for study was completely dependent over the published and secondary data sources, as the sources defined above.

3.2 Sample Size

The study selected all cement sector firms listed over KSE-100 Index as sample size for the research analysis. Total of 21 firms were listed over KSE-100 Index, hence, the firms whose data was not available during the sample year of 2005-2009, were excluded from the study, therefore three firms were excluded from the study because two of the excluded firms were newly listed and third was delisted over KSE-100 Index during the sample years. The impact of sales growth of firms on the corporate debt, which were listed on KSE-100 Index, was analyzed on the basis of the selected sample of 18 cement firms.

3.3 Research Model Developed

From the various determinants of corporate debts which affected debt financing decision of the firms, this research study included only sales growth and inventory to analyze the impact of sales growth on corporate debt, the sales growth was measured by two variables one was directly change of current year sales with respect to last year sales, and second was level of inventory held by firm. The short term debts were used as a major dilemma for firms to face debt claims in swift time. The constructed mathematically model provided below;

CD = a0 + β1SG + β2IH + є


CD= corporate debt was measured as the change of short-term debt with respect to last year debt.

SG= sales growth of firm with respect to last year sales of the firm.

IH= inventory held by firm during the year.

є = the error term

3.4 Statistical Technique

To examine the impact of sales growth on corporate borrowing, the multiple linear regression analysis (MLR) as a statistical technique was used for analyzed research study over selected sample firms; the SPSS software was used to test the secondary data.

Multiple Linear Regression Analysis technique was used for prediction of sales growth with respect to last year sales and inventory hold by firm defined as the studied variables had an impact on corporate borrowing decision especially on short term financing. The identified technique was used to analyze the empirical behavior of firm’s financings with studied independent variables (sales growth and inventory hold) on dependent variable i.e., Corporate Borrowing (short-term financing discussed in the previous chapter).

According to the characteristics of research study and variables used in this study, the multiple linear regressions; a multivariate analysis was appropriate to used than univariate investigation. In such a way the referenced studies also suggested to use the multivariate analysis technique. The intensity of sales growth impact on corporate debt during year 2005-2009 was observed on the basis of studied independent variables i.e. sales growth and inventory hold by firm during the year.



All firms of cement industry listed on KSE-100 Index were selected as sample for this research study, and Multiple Linear Regression Analysis was taken as a statistical technique for analysis of this research study. This research was tested and analyzed by using multivariate technique for the prediction of impact of the sales growth with respect to last year’s sale and inventory hold by firm on corporate borrowing decision especially on short term financing. The identified technique was used to examine the impact of the studied independent variables (sales growth and inventory hold) on dependent variable i.e., Corporate Borrowing (short-term financing discussed in the previous chapter).

4.1 Findings and Interpretation

Primarily, the regression technique in SPSS was applied on collected data. The resulted output of data showed that the data has no multicolinearity issue, while the normality issue was found in the data, to resolve normality issue of the data; so all the transformation techniques were used. By applying all the transformations, the studied variables found to be insignificant, so it was described that the data was highly volatile in Pakistani market so the normality issue was ignored to predict the variables. As the multicolinearity issue was not in the data, so the study initiated to analyze the results. The analysis and interpretation of the results was defined in following section of the research.

Table 4.1: Model Summary



R Square

Adjusted R Square





Table 4.1 demonstrated summary of the regression model. The Adjusted R square was best for prediction of model as per the number of variables used. The Adjusted R square of 51% in the above table showed that the both of the predictors of corporate borrowing combined together explained 51% variation in whole model, while the remaining was residual variance as latent and not included in the prediction of the model. In other words, Adjusted R square showed that 51% variation in outcome was explained by the population of the study.

Table 4.2: ANOVA


Sum of Squares


Mean Square

















The table 4.2 represented the significance of estimated linear model of the study, the sig value of ANOVA supported the model fitness for this research study file regarding applicability of the regression technique, ANOVA table was consistent for examination of the model’s ability to predict any variation in observed dependent variable such that corporate borrowing. This was absolutely understandable from the sig value of .000 which showed that the linear regression model was perfectly momentous for the conducted research.

Table 4.3: Coefficients


Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients



Collinearity Statistics


Std. Error


























The table 4.3 represented crucial results for regression model of this study. Sig column of above table demonstrated that all variables of the study were significant and all independent variables of the hypothesis of this research study had significantly influential intensity over dependent variable of the study. Sig column demonstrated that the un-standardized coefficients of variables is zero or not; when the sig value was higher or equal to .05, the un-standardize coefficients considered as zero; and when the sig value was lower than .05, then the un-standardize coefficients of the model was not considered as zero. The value of column B demonstrated that one unit varies in independent variable consequence change in dependent variable with the weights equal to the weights of column B. The VIF column showed the existence of multicollinearity issue in the studied independent variables. As all of the VIF values found less than 2, so this identified the least acceptable level of multicollinearity in the study.

4.2 Hypotheses Assessment Summary

The studied hypothesis was sales growth of the firm has significant positive impact on corporate borrowing’ decisions to finance in short-term credit market. The firm’s sales growth characteristics had variation in current year sales of firm with respect to last year sales and the level of inventory hold by firm during financing years. In this study each of the sales growth variable and inventory variable as firm’s sales growth characteristic for corporate borrowing were tested and concluded in the outcome.

TABLE 4.4 : Hypotheses Assessment Summary







There is a positive impact of sales growth on corporate borrowing.





There is a positive impact of inventory hold on corporate borrowing.





5.1 Conclusion

The results of the study suggested that sales growth has positive impact on corporate borrowing which identified the significance of sales growth impact in Pakistani market. The second variable of the study was also identified the significance impact in Pakistani market and had intensity to impact over corporate borrowing. The results of this study were not matching with referenced studies conducted by Guedes & Opler (1996), and these results had also shown consistency with the study conducted by Barclay et al. The studied results varying because the matched studies were conducted in various countries, so the firm’s environments and circumstances of the countries usually differed to make financing decisions accordingly.

5.2 Discussions

Firm sales opportunities played a vital role in defining the firm’s sales growth but these growth opportunities varied over volatility in environmental growth of the countries, hence, this dilemma was not with the study of Guedes & Opler (1996), because in his study the level of inventory hold by the firm over the year was playing a significant role. Variations in the corporate borrowing were highly explained by the level of inventory held by firm over the year. While sales growth of the firm concluded same results with consistent to the research study of Barclay et al.

5.3 Implications and Recommendations

This research study was limited to the cement sector firms listed on Karachi Stock Exchange of Pakistan only. The data was taken from annual reports of all cement sector firm’s. This research suggested it was not necessity that only firms’ sales growth has impact on corporate borrowing or the corporate borrowing decisions was affected only by sales growth and inventory factors such type of other borrowing factors should be carried out and analyses in other countries of the Asia as well, as to have inclusive idea about the impact of sales growth on corporate borrowing. Furthermore, the research study also suggested that other factors of corporate borrowing discussed in the chapter one should be researched as to have perfect idea for the debt financing decisions of the firm. For instance, this research study can also be replicated efficiently in other developing countries.

5.4 Future Research

This research study may helped various management of the firm, investors and other research conductors in analyzing and observing the debt behavior and financing decisions of firm’s to achieve sales growth opportunities of the firm. The students whose intention is to research on either debt financing behavior of the firm or to study the growth behavior of the firm with respect to debt can be benefited by this study. Furthermore, the cement sector will become advantageous from this study because the study clarifies the impact of sales growth of firm on corporate short term borrowing.



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