Impact of the Debt Ratio on Firm Investment: A case study of listed companies in China

Author Name YUAN Yuan  (the University of Tokyo) /MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2008 08-E-011
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In this paper, we analyze whether the total debt ratios and bank loan ratios of Chinese listed companies had any impact on their fixed investment in 2001-2006, and whether this impact, if it existed, differed among companies with differing investment opportunities. Our results are as follows. First, our analysis reveals that the total debt ratio (bank loan ratio) did have a negative impact on fixed investment among Chinese listed companies. Secondly, the total debt ratio (bank loan ratio) had a stronger negative impact on low-growth companies than on high-growth companies, implying that the total debt ratio (bank loan ratio) actually restrained companies from overinvestment. Finally, the analysis led to the interesting result that the bank loan ratio had a stronger impact on fixed investment than the total debt ratio, and actually had the strong effect of restraining investment particularly by low-growth companies, implying that in China, banks supervise the investment activities of companies more strongly than other creditors.