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재무취약성과 거시경제충격이 운전자본관리에 미치는 영향 : 국내 상장기업의 영업활동과 기업간 신용 차입 행태에 대한 실증연구

  • 조용준 서울시립대학교 대학원 경영학과 박사과정, 하나금융투자 리서치센터장
  • 정병욱 서울시립대학교 경영대학 교수
본 연구는 기업의 영업활동과 관련된 단기자금 조달수단으로서 기업간신용 차입 행태를 실증적으로 분석한다. 금융경색, 금융위기 등의 거시경제충격 요인과 재무제약, 재무곤경 등의 개별기업 재무취약성 요인이 기업간신용 차입 비중에 미치는 영향을 실증적으로 검증한다. 본 연구의 초점은 기업간신용 차입 및 여신을 매출액 대비 측정하여 기업의 유동자산 및 유동부채의 관리를 매출액으로 지표되는 영업활동과 연관하여 분석하는 것이며 거시경제충격 및 재무취약성 요인이 운전자본관리에 미치는 영향을 분석하는 것으로 종합된다. 실증결과는 금융경색 및 금융위기 요인은 기업간신용 차입 비중을 증가시키며 기업간신용 차입은 기업의 영업활동에 있어서 거시경제충격에 대응하는 운전자본관리 수단으로서 기능함을 제시한다. 본 연구의 실증결과는 재무취약성 요인들도 매출액 대비 기업간신용 차입 비중을 증가시키며 기업간신용 차입이 기업의 영업활동에 있어서 재무취약성 요인에 대응하는 단기자금 조달수단으로서 기능함을 제시한다. 또한 본 연구의 실증결과에서 금융경색 및 재무취약성 요인의 상호작용항이 매출액 대비 기업간신용 차입 비중에 미치는 정(+)의 영향을 미치는 것으로 추정되었다. 본 연구의 전반적인 추정결과는 금융경색 환경 하에서 재무취약성 요인은 기업간신용 차입 의존도를 증폭시키며 기업의 영업활동 및 매출규모의 유지를 위하여 기업간신용의 차입 비중을 확대하여 운전자본을 관리함을 제시한다.
재무취약성; 거시경제충격; 영업활동; 단기자금조달; 기업간신용;Financial Vulnerability; Macroeconomic Shocks; Working Capital Management; Short-Term Debt Financing; Trade Credit Financing

Effects of Financial Vulnerability and Macroeconomic Shock on Firms’ Working Capital Management : Empirical Analysis of Business Operations and Trade Credit Financing in Korea

  • Yong-Jun Cho
  • Byung-Uk Chong
Trade credits are offered by suppliers in the form of allowances for buyers to postpone their payments. Trade credits are non-market-based bilateral debt contracts between buyers and sellers, and these contracts incur higher costs of debt than market-based short-term financing sources such as bank financing and commercial paper. Trade credit financing is generally assumed to be more expensive than bank financing, as trade credit is commonly requested by credit-constrained borrowing firms. Another prevailing assumption is that reliance on trade credit financing tends to increase with the degree of credit rationing on financially constrained firms following adverse macroeconomic shocks. In the fields of corporate finance and financial intermediation, the question of how firms choose their financing sources has become increasingly important for researchers. Clearly, different sources involve different kinds of risk, and choices are made under conditions of information asymmetry in financial markets. In line with traditional research in this area, this paper examines how firms conduct trade credit financing in response to both macroeconomic and microeconomic factors, and it tests the substitutability and complementarity of bank financing and trade credit financing. The existing literature on trade credit financing suggests two main views on trade credit channels, namely the “substitution view” and the “complementarity view.” The substitution view posits that trade credit is a substitute for market-based, short-term financing sources such as bank revolving lines or commercial paper. Reliance on trade credit is more likely when the borrowing firms are constrained in their access to these market-based, short-term financing sources. Under such constraints, firms commonly turn to substitute sources of financing, such as trade credit. In this sense, trade credit and market-based financing are substitutes, and we can expect that trade credits will be more commonly used by firms under financial distress or in times of economic shocks, e.g., financial crises. The complementarity view holds in situations where the supply of trade credit and the access to bank financing or capital market funding are linked. When financial intermediaries are more effective in screening and monitoring the borrowing firms, financial intermediaries can provide financing directly to firms operating in capital markets. However, when the suppliers are more efficient in screening and monitoring, or in enforcing debt contracts, it may be optimal for these financial intermediaries to offer financing to the suppliers, who then relend to the purchasing firms. Such efficiency may arise if the suppliers have proprietary information about the purchasing firms, if they can threaten to suspend future deliveries, or if their opportunity costs for any repossessed inventory are higher than the costs of financial intermediaries. In some sense, non-financial suppliers act as “agents” for financial intermediaries. The main question raised in this paper is why financially vulnerable firms rely more on trade credit financing, even when seemingly cheaper sources of financing (such as bank revolving lines and commercial paper) are available in the short-term debt markets. In particular, our paper investigates how financial vulnerabilities and macroeconomic shocks operate in both separate and combined ways to affect firms’ choices for trade credit financing. This paper uses CP spread as a measure of credit crunches in short-term debt markets. In addition, the 2008~2009 global financial crisis is used as a natural event study factor, which represents an example of an extreme macroeconomic shock to both domestic and overseas financial markets. The effects of both CP spreads and macroeconomic shocks on trade credit financing are estimated. The empirical results show that adverse macroeconomic shocks increase trade credit financing, which is measured by accounts payable relative to sales. These results imply that trade credit financing may offset the contraction of bank financing, which can be triggered by adverse macroeconomic shocks and credit crunches in the Korean economy. In other words, trade credit financing can function as a financing instrument that can absorb macroeconomic shocks, thereby serving to maintain business operations and enable the management of working capital. Our paper also examines the effects of various firm-level financial vulnerabilities on trade credit financing. Following previous studies, we consider financial vulnerability factors, including the Whited-Wu index and the dividend payout ratio, both of which indicate the degrees of financial constraint. We also consider the modified Altman Z score and the default likelihood Indicator, both of which indicate the degree of financial distress. The empirical results show that financial vulnerability factors increase firms’ reliance on trade credit financing. Overall, our paper’s findings indicate that under conditions of macroeconomics shock, financially vulnerable borrowing firms are inclined to increase their reliance on trade credit financing. This evidence supports the hypothesis that trade credit financing serves as an alternative source of short-term corporate debt financing for financially vulnerable firms that are facing credit crunches. Our results suggest that trade credit financing plays a key role in helping firms to flexibly maintain their business operations and manage working capital under conditions of financial constraint or distress, such as those following macroeconomic shocks. Moreover, this paper provides evidence that the interactive effects of macroeconomic shocks and financial vulnerabilities tend to stimulate trade credit borrowing (i.e., accounts payable relative to sales). This pattern implies that firms are commonly forced into reliance on trade credit financing when adverse macroeconomic circumstances render them financially vulnerable.