Determinants of Debt Maturity Structures in Pakistan

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The decision made in corporate finance observed two main areas of interest. Besides the debt versus equity decision making. The factors of debt maturity also had the same importance. Optimal capital structure theories suggest many ways in which firms can adjust overtime to target debt ratio. Among these include the use of different mixes of equity, debt and hybrid securities. In developed markets, firms can easily choose between short or long term debts as per the requirement of optimal debt maturity structure. Which were not constrained by the availability of either type of debt as the banking industry and capital markets both developed and competitive. Unfortunately, firms operating in developing countries were not much lucky. Because less developed capital markets and instable interest rates, firms in developing countries usually find difficult to use long term debt. Besides the obvious reason, there was a need to know what factors influence the debt maturity structure choice in developing country like Pakistan and how listed firms in Pakistan made choices between long term and short term debt. The empirical literatures were rich on capital structure decisions but not on debt maturity structure. There was a need of to enrich the research on the debt maturity structures not only from the methodological standpoint but also from the view of including detailed analysis of large data sets of individual countries, especially developing ones. The study also contributes to empirical literature by using all relevant models of dynamic panel data. The assumptions that firm swiftly change the maturity structures of the debt.

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1.2 Problem Statement

The rapid implications of liquidity, discount rate had a significant impact on the economy. The changes had affected the development and growth of the economy as well as the institutions performance. The liquidity problem caused the increase in default rate and discount rate had increased the non performing loans in financial sector. Both had significantly affected the performance

1.3 Hypothesis

H1: There is a significant and negative impact of growth options on debt maturity structure.

H2: There is a significant and negative impact of firm quality on debt maturity structure.

H3: There is a significant and positive impact of assets maturity on debt maturity structure.

H4: There is a significant and negative impact of firm tax rate on debt maturity structure.

H5: There is a significant and positive impact of leverage on debt maturity structure.

1.4 Research Question

What factors affect the determinants of debt maturity structures in non financial sector of Pakistan? When and why choose bank debt, bond or leasing? Which term decides the term of maturity of the debt. The liquidity and discount rate problem also increased the solvency problem and decreased the performance. Which reduces the growth opportunities of the non financial sector as well as created a stress on the individual saving.

1.5 Research Objective

The scope and aim of study provided valuable insight to the factors that were the determinants of debt maturity structure in Pakistan based on the following variables.

Growth Options

Firm Quality

Asset Maturity

Firm Tax Rate


1.6 Research Structure

The research structure based on five chapters as follows:

Introduction about Pakistan non financial sector and role in the economy.

The literature review had provided theoretical background of the research and cites author those who had previously researched on the topic of determinants of debt maturity structure.

The research methods chapter included data adopted sources, collection, statistical technique and hypothesis development.

The results chapter had included data analysis and interpretation.

The conclusion and recommendation section provided the final logical analysis.

1.7 Definitions

1.7.1 Debt Maturity

Debt maturity is defined as the ratio of liabilities maturing in more than one year to total debt and debt maturity is denoted by DM.

1.7.2 Growth Options

The growth is defined as the ratio of market to book value of total assets. The reason for that the there were a booming period then share prices of majority of companies increased dramatically and growth options is denoted by GP.

1.7.3 Firm Quality

The information asymmetry that exists between managers and investors usually results in under pricing of long term securities. In order to reduce the cost firms prefer to issue short term debt. Firm quality is defined as the ratio differences in current and future earnings to current period earning and firm quality is denoted by FQ.

1.7.4 Asset Maturity

The asset maturity is defined as the ratio of net sales to net fixed assets. The high ratio represents the operating cycle shows that the firms need short term financing to support sales and asset maturity is denoted by AM.

1.7.5 Firm Tax Rate

The firm tax rate is defined as the ratio of annual tax expense to taxable income and firm tax rate is denoted by FTR.

1.7.6 Leverage

Optimal leverage depend s on the debt maturity and markedly lower when the firm were financed by short term debt. The leverage is defined as the ratio of total debt to total assets and leverage is denoted by L.


A number of studies had examined the determinants of debt maturity structure in many countries over the years.

Traditionally, capital structure research had focused on how much of a firms future cash flows be paid out to debtholders instead of equityholders. An equally important issue was that when future cash flows paid out to debtholders. A firm that finances the projects with short term debt risks serious financial difficulty if the debt cannot be extended. Similarly, a firm that finances its activities with long term debt sacrifice profits be needlessly risking mismanagement of resources after cash flows were returned from investments, but before were due to debtholders. The data base of 10,287 corporate debt issues compiled by the capital market division of the board of governance of the Federal Reserve Board. The result of the study tested in three steps. First, the researcher established the stylized facts about the maturity and issuer type. Second, estimate were the ordinary least square model and third was the sensitivity of the result by estimating the structural model of the debt maturity choice. (Guedes and Opler, 1996).

The debt maturity structure measures the detailed information about all the firms liabilities. The less risky firms with longer term asset maturities used longer term debt. Additionally, debt maturity varies inversely with earnings surprises and firm effective tax rate. Firm with high or very low bond ratings used shorter term debt. The test was based on the 328 industrial firms over the 10 years period from 1980 to 1989 and data gathered from the Moody’s Industrial Mannual to measure the debt maturity structure in given data and difference result came out. Growth options increase resulted in decrease in debt maturity structure. However, some larger firms had longer debt maturity structure and size had a positive impact on debt maturity structure. (Stohs and Mauer, 1996).

A firms growth options affect the debt maturity choice because of the underinvestment problems. When a firm had a future options for growth via profitable investment opportunities, the benefit of making these investments go partly to shareholders, but debtholders share the benefit because firms probability of default were reduced by the investments. Since a part of the benefit went to debtholders, the incentive to undertake such projects was reduced, and a firm might under invest. Financing growth opportunities involves financing investment in assets for new projects. However, a firm must also decide how to refinance investment in assets for existing projects as the assets mature. A firm can reduce the agency cost of debt if the maturity of debt matched to the life of these assets. The result showed that asset maturity had a significant relationship, growth also shown little support and also evidence for the influence of information asymmetry, taxes and industry. (Scherr and Hulburt, 2001).

The space spanned by the securities markets then changes in the maturity structure cannot add anything to the present set of investment opportunities available. A frictionless market with no taxes and no bankruptcy costs were implying the irrelevance of the firms financing policies altogether. If interest and price variations of the bond were perfect substitutes for tax purposes then even in a non equilibrium environment, each debt maturity structure had the same tax consequences. Consequently, any debt maturity structure which yields the same equivalent net payments to bondholders not alters the investment opportunities to investors. (Brick and Ravid, 1985).

The firms level of debt and the maturity structure of the debt had effected the investment decision were the fundamental issues in corporate finance. In a world with incomplete markets, however, agency problems inherent in interactions between shareholders, debtholders and management associated with the level of leverage and the maturity composition, give rise to underinvestment or overinvestment incentives. A firm financial policy had a significant impact on investment. Several empirical studies had investigated the relationship between firm leverage and investment. The maturity structure of a firms debt had a significant impact on investment decisions. After controlling for the effect of the overall level of leverage that had a higher percentage of long term debt in total debt significantly reduces the investment for firms with higher growth opportunities. In contrast, the correlation between debt maturity and investment was not significant for firms with low growth opportunities. The result was strong at the firm level and at the business segment level. (Aivazian and Jiaping Qiu, 2005).

Recent capital structure studies went beyond the simple debt maturity choice to focus on various attributes of the debt in firms capital structures. One particular attribute had received much attention to debt maturity, which argues was important in a capital structure context because that can be chosen to reduce underinvestment problems. Firm with risky debt outstanding reject new profitable projects. If enough of the projects pay offs accrue to debtholders. Holding constant the tax shield and other benefits of debt, underinvestment problems created by the risky debt overhang reduce optimal leverage. Short debt maturity attenuates the negative effect of growth opportunities on leverage. The negative effect of growth opportunities on leverage for firms with all shorter term debt were less than one sixth as large as the effect for firms with all longer term debt. Short maturity increases liquidity risk. However, which negatively affects leverage. The result suggests that firms trade off the cost of underinvestment problems against the cost of liquidity risk when choosing short maturity. (Johnson, 2003).

Long term debt preferred because tax related advantages. There exists a tax advantage to debt and nonstochastic interest rates, long term debt were increased the present value of the tax benefits of debt if the term structure of interest rates, adjusted for risk of default, were increasing. A decreasing term structure, on the other hand, calls for short term debt. The study extends the tax induced argument to allow for the presence of stochastic interest rates. Ones interest rates uncertain, pricing even under risk neutrality becomes a complex issue. The analysis of debt maturity decision under two competing pricing equations. The return to maturity expectations hypothesis and the local expectations hypothesis. Under certainty, a debt capacity interpreted to indicate that if the term premium, the difference between the implied forward interest rate and the future expected spot rate, was positive. Then long term debt maturity strategy was optimal. (Brick and Ravid, 1991).

When capital market investors and firm insiders posses the same information about a company’s prospects, its liabilities had been priced in a way that made the firm indifferent to the composition of its financial liabilities at least under certain, well known circumstances. However, if firm insiders were systematically better informed than outside investors, that was choose to issue different types of securities that the market appears to overvalue most. Knowing the rational investors try to infer the insiders information from the firms financial structure. The study evaluates the extent to which a firms choice of risky debt maturity can signal insider’s information about firm quality. If financial market transactions were costless, a firms financial structure cannot provide a valid signal, with positive transaction costs, however, high quality firms can some times effectively signal the true quality to the market. The existence of a signaling equilibrium was shown to depend on the distribution of firms quality and the magnitude of underwriting costs for corporate debt. (Flannery, 1986).


The chapter formed the core of the research work. The research methods chapter illustrated the detail information regarding data collection technique, sample size and also the tools that had been used in the study. The statistical tool also mentioned to give clear idea about the data collected and its treatment.

3.1 Data Collection Technique

There were two types of sources available for data collection i.e. primary and secondary data source. In the research secondary data source had been used. Secondary data were gathered from journal articles and electronic media. The annual financial information extracted from the State Bank of Pakistan web site.

3.2 Sample Size

The study period was consists of ten years from (1999-2008) and provides the broader view about the determinants of debt maturity structure in non financial sector of Pakistan. The study based on —— firms listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE).

3.3 Reliability and Validity

3.3.1 Reliability

The reliability is defined as the degree to which the observed values measure the true values, error free and consistent. The overall results were in line with the practices applicable in Pakistan. But the difference was appeared when the results of Pakistan compared with international practices. In high interest rate environment Pakistan banking getting high returns on the other hand the at global level interest rate were low. That clearly indicated the major differences in returns at Pakistan and international level.

3.3.2 Validity

The validity is defined as the degree to which the measure was accurately represents what was supposed to. The instrument had been used to predict the variation explained by the independent variable in interest income. The regression model used in the analysis and all the assumption had been fulfilled.

3.4 Empirical Model

DM =α+β1GR+ β 2FQ + β 3AM + β 4FTR+ β 5L+€

α= Regression Constant – Alpha

β= Regression Coefficient – Beta

DM= Debt Maturity

GR= Growth Options

FQ= Firm Quality

AM= Assets Maturity

FTR= Firm Tax Rate

L= Leverage

€= Error

3.5 Statistical Test

The data were analyzed by using regression model to find out the determinates of debt maturity structure in Pakistan based on the variables. Such as growth options, firm quality, assets maturity, firm tax rate and leverage.

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Determinants Of Debt Maturity Structures In Pakistan. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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