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Three Essays on Corporate Debt Financing


Three Essays on Corporate Debt Financing

Kaviani, Mahsa Somayeh (2016) Three Essays on Corporate Debt Financing. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Three essays on corporate debt financing
Mahsa Somayeh Kaviani, Ph.D.
Concordia University, 2016

In the first of three essays, we study the relationship between corporate debt structures and the strength of creditor rights. Firms use a more concentrated debt-type structure as a reaction mechanism to stronger creditor rights. We show that managers form more concentrated debt structures in response to stronger creditor rights in order to first, reduce bankruptcy costs and second, to provide more monitoring incentives for creditors. Across 46 countries, we document that firms have more concentrated debt-type structures in countries with stronger creditor rights. Based on an examination of the cross-sectional heterogeneity of firms to different creditor rights regimes, we confirm our two proposed mechanisms. This study extends the literature of debt structure to an international setting and is the first to document the effect of cross-country legal and institutional determinants on the choice of debt structures.
In the second essay, we investigate how uncertainty about economic policies influence corporate credit spreads. We find a large and positive association between corporate credit spreads and a news-based index of policy uncertainty. We document that a one standard deviation increase in policy uncertainty results in 25 basis points increase in the credit spreads of corporate bonds controlling for bond, firm and macro-economic variables. We find that the influence of policy uncertainty on corporate credit spreads differs across firms and is more pronounced for firms with higher investment irreversibility and dependence on government spending. We also document a larger impact of policy uncertainty during economic recessions. Our results show that not only firm-level default probabilities, but also bond-CDS bases increase in response to elevated policy uncertainty.
The third and final essay empirically measures the financial and economic costs (benefits) to firm value associated with deteriorations or improvements in the firm’s credit quality. We document that firms incur economically large and statistically significant costs to their values following credit-rating deteriorations. Consistent with an asymmetric effect, we find significant but smaller firm-value benefits associated with credit-rating upgrades. The financial costs to a firm’s market value associated with each notch downgrade to the investment and speculative grade categories are 7.1% and 14.8%, respectively, and these costs are generally larger than the economic costs to the firm value from credit rating downgrades. Using a continuous KMV distance to default model, we conclude that deteriorations (improvements) in a model-generated credit rating quality can also adversely (positively) affect firm value. Our findings have implications for corporate financing and leverage decisions, and for the unresolved underleverage puzzle (Graham, 2001).

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Finance
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Kaviani, Mahsa Somayeh
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Business Administration (Finance specialization)
Date:7 July 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Kryzanowski, Lawrence
ID Code:981371
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 13:55
Last Modified:23 Jul 2019 20:57
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