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본 연구는 하도급거래의 결제시스템 개선에 따른 경제적 효과를 이론 모형과 수치 분석을 통해 증명함으로써, 대ㆍ중소기업 상생 발전을 위한 공급사슬금융(supply chain finance)의 효율성 제고 방안을 모색한다. 이를 통해 구매기업(대기업)의 신용을 2차 이하 협력기업에서도 쉽게 공여 받을 수 있도록 함으로써, 중소기업들이 처한 판매대금 회수의 어려움과 어음 부도의 위험을 완화시킬 수 있을 것으로 기대된다. 이는 선행연구들이 자본비용 최적화를 통해 공급사슬금융의 필요성을 주장한 것과 달리, 구매기업의 신용 공여가 공급기업의 품질 향상을 유도하여 공급사슬 전체의 기대이윤을 증가시킬 수 있음을 증명했다는 점에서 연구의 의의를 찾을 수 있다. 이를 통해 공급기업은 구매기업의 할인율을 적용한 제도권 금융 이용으로 재무건전성이 강화되고, 구매기업은 공급사슬관리의 효율성이 증대되어 원가경쟁력을 제고할 수 있을 것으로 판단된다. 또한 연쇄부도의 위험이 낮아짐으로써 국민경제의 안정성이 높아지고, 사채시장에서 할인되는 어음을 제1금융권으로 흡수하여 지하경제 양성화에 따른 세수확대에도 기여할 수 있을 것으로 판단된다.
This study analyzes potential economic effects the supply chain finance (SCF) framework may have on subcontract transactions using theoretical modeling and numerical analysis. The outcome of this study is expected to shed further light on more effective ways in which the supply chain finance (SCF) can be introduced in the market. This attempt aligns with the partnership with and shared growth between large and mid-sized companies, in the formation of a “win-win” market environment. Recently, the opportunity to optimize the financial flow in the whole supply chain processes between financial institutions and business enterprises has increased as most of the commercial transactions are being done through electronic system. This directly links the business flow externally to subcontractors and the like; the flow is no longer limited within the enterprise. This means that the number of targets to be optimized in the supply chain management (SCM) has exponentially increased. Accordingly, such extensive and complicated business ecosystem raises the impact supply chain finance (SCF) has on the businesses. Despite such rapid growth in electronic business transactions, the alternative payment method including electronic account receivables are rather limited. Although there have been some policy efforts to vitalize the electronic transactions, the channels are reserved to, for instance, buying companies and dealings with the companies’ tier 1 subcontractors whose credit ratings are relatively high. This evidently creates problems. For one thing, those subcontractors that belong to tier 2 or below in supply chain still very much at disadvantage in the current framework. When they have to liquidate their account receivables, they are but to choose between high discounted prices or an underground money market. On the other hand, more than 70% of the account receivables issued to tier 1 subcontractors are held up to maturity in the banking sector. To resolve this unfair practice, we propose a “win-win payment” system in subcontract transactions to mitigate difficulties faced by small and medium size companies. The system basically extends the reverse factoring mechanism for the sub-tier 1 enterprises. By granting credit supports to those smaller subcontractors, the system helps to decrease the cost of capital and create new incentive structures for suppliers to improve their quality. By so doing, the buyers can also expect to increase their sales and profits from the operation. This approach stands out from the previous studies that have mainly focused on the optimization of cost of capital at the level of the entire supply chain. We think that our approach better reflects the reality in view of the present domestic affairs. According to our analysis, the buying companies have an incentive to induce the suppliers to improve their quality by offering credits to the whole supply chain with the win-win spirit. With the expectation to raise the efficiency in supply chain management, they can also extend the deadlines of account payables, thereby increasing the expected profits as a result. However, we have verified that the system we had proposed operates only in the case in which the credit spread between buying and supplying companies exceeds a threshold. This may explain why the current system, a kind of reverse factoring with recourse only in two firms, is not working well between a buyer and its tier 1 subcontractors. We have also found that, in general, more credit is provided to the supplier whose quality has relatively higher impact on the market demand, which ultimately generates more expected profits. Further, we have proved that the business profits are maximized when the credit is offered to the tier 2 companies when the quality of tier 2 subcontractors has a decisive effect on the cost of the tier 1 firms. By adopting the new payment system, supplying companies are able to strengthen their financial solvency through decreasing the capital cost and holding period of the account receivables. And business continuity with the buyer can be stronger because of their quality improvement. Meanwhile, as for the financial institutions, they also have an incentive to participate the win-win payment system. They can acquire new customers without taking additional risks, often embedded in cross selling and lending. Ultimately, the benefit of the new system can be shared by all as the probability of fallouts in subcontract transactions can be reduced. Consequently, this can further strengthen the national economy as more tax revenues can be expected from commercial bills, which are to be curbed from the discounted underground market into the official banking sector. To make this system work, of course, a set of supportive policies from the government is required. For instance, various tax benefits and credit guarantees can be offered to the buying and supplying companies as rewards to adopting the new payment system in their business transactions. To induce the financial institutions to create more financial products to promote the system, the government can subsidize the expenses for the account receivable insurance. In addition, the watchdog’s thorough monitoring against buyers’ moral hazard is needed to ensure that the suppliers are free from the right of recourse.
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2012년 3월에 도입된 주택금융공사의 적격대출은 대출금리가 낮은 데다 거치식 상환 방식이 가능함에 따라 급속한 성장세를 나타내었다. 적격대출의 낮은 금리는 대출 채권의 유동화 증권이 주택금융공사의 보증에 힘입어 낮은 금리로 발행되는 데 주로 기인하므로 결국 정부가 민간 금융회사의 대출 위험을 떠안는 셈이 된다. 적격대출은 향후 주택담보 대출 시장을 선도하여 외부 충격에 취약한 변동금리․일시상환 대출 구조를 고정금리․ 비거치식 분할상환 구조로 유도하는 한편 차입자의 부담도 덜어주는 긍정적인 역할을 할 것으로 예상된다. 그러나 아직까지 거치식 대출이 많이 포함되어 있고, 상환능력, 신용등급 등 채무자 요건이 매우 낮은 수준인 데다 민간 금융회사가 수취하는 수수료를 스스로 결정하는 등의 문제점들을 안고 있다. 특히 이런 문제점들이 주택담보대출 시장의 비대칭정보 문제와 연결되는 경우 주택금융공사의 부실 문제로 이어질 수도 있으므로 거치식 대출 폐지, 채무자 요건 강화, 수수료의 직접 관리, 적격대출제도 상시 감독 및 국회 보고 등의 개선방안을 검토할 필요가 있다. 한편 적격대출의 부실 등을 우려하여 정책당국이 적격대출에 대하여 양적 규제 등을 시도하는 경우 비대칭정보 문제가 오히려 심화될 가능성도 있으므로 앞으로는 적격대출제도의 문제점들을 철저히 개선하는 한편 양적 규제는 오히려 완화하는 것이 바람직하다.
Korea Housing Finance Corporation (KHFC) introduced conforming mortgage loan (CML), which is standardized to be compatible with securitization. It is similar to the conforming loan in the U.S. The U.S. government is directly and indirectly involved in the home mortgage market. Its direct involvement is through the granting of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, as well as loans granted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Rural Housing Service of the Department of Agriculture. The government’ indirect involvement is made possible through the securitization. The mortgage loans offered by private firms, on the other hand, are referred to as conventional mortgage loans. Some conventional mortgage loans have to conform to the requirements in order to be purchased by the Fannie Mae and the Freddie Mac. Most of these conforming loans are securitized by those public entities. By buying mortgage loans, these two governmentsponsored enterprises (GSEs) create liquidity for lenders, freeing up capital so they can make more loans, thereby offering better support to the credit market. The access to funding from the capital markets on fairly generous terms by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has historically generated a steady demand for conforming loans, and in the process allowed lenders to offer somewhat more favorable terms on these home mortgages. In many respects, CML in Korea and the conforming loan in the U.S. are quite similar. For instance, the private mortgage loans that satisfy the requirements set by KHFC are purchased by the corporation. CML also allows lenders to provide home mortgage loans on very favorable terms. KHFC requires the following specific conditions for CML. Borrowers should have credit grades no worse than 8th grade assigned by the certified credit bureaus. Loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios should not violate the guidelines set by Korea’s financial watchdog, called the Financial Services Commission. Also, the loan size cannot exceed 500 million Korean Won, and the length of maturity ranges from five to thirty-five years. Both fixed and floating rate loans are accepted. In addition, there is no restriction on repayment method, and even bullet loans are qualified for CML. As soon as it was introduced in March 2012, due to these borrower-friendly terms, CML became instantly popular in the Korean residential mortgage loan market. Mainly its low interest rate and flexible repayment scheme attracted many. The low interest rate relies predominantly on the risk mitigation measure provided by KHFC since CMLs are sold by commercial banks with the presumption that they would be securitized through the issuance of MBS with credit guarantee by KHFC that is again backed by the government. The government guarantee of CMLs can be understood as a necessary incentive to induce mortgage borrowers to switch their existing loans to long-term fixed rate loans with amortization from short-term bullet loans. And yet, CML has some structural flaws that require immediate policy attention. Contrary to initial intention, bullet loans still comprise a significant portion of CML portfolio. In addition, the credit standard is set at a very low level in terms of the borrowers’ credit scores and repayment ability. Moreover, servicing companies are free to set their own level of servicing fees, which create ample chances for disputes to erupt between servicers and borrowers in anytime soon. These problems may result in significant financial burden on KHFC when they are entangled with the problem of information asymmetry prevalent in the mortgage market. In response to these potential challenges, we make the following four policy recommendations. First of all, bullet loans should be completely eliminated from CML portfolio. Second, credit standards should be significantly tightened immediately. Third, KHFC should restructure the loan management system to reclaim the right to determine the level of servicing fees lenders can charge. Finally, transparency on CML should be enhanced through disclosure of wider range of information and tighter monitoring by the financial supervisor and the National Assembly. According to the news reports in early 2013, a policy measure was taken to impose a ceiling on the amount of CML each bank can sell. Banks seemed to have responded to the measure by raising the loan interest rates. If the banks chose to increase the loan interest rate, one possible outcome is adverse selection. Safer borrowers whose risk levels fall within the given risk bracket may be unwilling to borrow at a higher interest rate than what their credit standing; as a result, the mix of borrowers within the pool becomes riskier. The second possibility is that an increase in the loan interest rate could worsen the likelihood for moral hazard problem. That is, those borrowers within the pool who have some latitude in their investment decisions may choose riskier projects at a higher loan interest rate. If the banks are exposed to the default risks, they will not raise the loan interest rates, because higher interest rates could mean lower expected profit for the banks. Since the banks are not responsible for the defaults, they are willing to raise the rates. Therefore, the quantity restriction should be avoided since it can only aggravate either adverse selection or moral hazard or both problems by those banks.
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본 논문의 목적은 신성장 중소기업을 대상으로 집행되었던 정책자금의 인과적 효과를 추정하는 것이다. 정책자금의 인과적 효과를 추정하기 위한 식별전략으로 중소기업 진흥공단의 신성장기반 자금에 지원하였으나 탈락한 기업을 통제군으로 사용하였다. 기존연구들은 정책자금의 수혜 기업과 비수혜 기업을 비교하였다. 하지만, 이런 경우 처리군에 속한 기업과 통제군에 속한 기업 사이에 미관측 이질성이 존재하여 처리효과의 일치추정량을 얻을 수 없다. 본고에서는 동일한 정책자금에 지원한 기업들을 비교함으로써 미관측 이질성에서 발생하는 문제를 최소화 하였다. 또한, 자료에서 발생하는 생존편의를 최소화하기 위해 성과평가 모형에 기업의 생존여부를 명시적으로 고려하였다. 실증 분석에서는 중소기업진흥공단의 신성장기반 자금 수혜기업(2002년~2009년)에 대한 분석결과는 다음과 같은 흥미로운 점을 보여주고 있다. 먼저, 생존효과를 고려하지 않았을 경우 정책효과는 편의 있게 추정되었다. 둘째, 신성장기반 자금은 수혜 기업의 수익성과 안정성을 제고하는 효과가 있었다. 하지만, 사업의 목적인 기업의 성장성에는 통계적으로 유의한 영향을 미치지는 못했다. 셋째, 신성장기반 자금은 수혜 기업의 생존을 연장하는 역할을 하고 있었다.
The purpose of this paper is to estimate the causal effects of the new growth funds (NGF) for Small and Medium Business Corporations (SBC) on the financial performances of the beneficiary SMEs. The recent studies by Kim (2005), KIPA (2006), KIET (2007), KSBI (2009) presented a series of evaluations on how public loans for SMEs had performed. They basically compared the beneficiary SMEs and the non-beneficiary SMEs to evaluate the effects of the public loan program. However, those studies showed many limitations. First, they failed to account for the heterogeneity of the SMEs by failing to reflect unobserved dimensions such as the management capability of CEOs. Even with a proper set of control variables, the beneficiary SMEs could be quite different from the nonbeneficiary SMEs. Second, the data used in the studies is limited to that of the SMEs whose financial data were readily available. This can be problematic as the sample selection based upon only survival can incur inconsistent policy effect because the survivor SMEs are more likely to be better performing ones. In short, the previous estimates carry the survival bias. Especially, if the survival rate of the beneficiary SMEs is significantly different from that of the non-beneficiary SMEs, the inconsistency problem can be further aggravated. As an alternative identification strategy, we narrowed down the scope of our data to the SMEs which had previously applied for the NGF but were excluded from a control group. As mentioned, the previous studies used the non-beneficiary SMEs as a control group. However, the beneficiary SMEs are different from the non-beneficiary SMEs in the areas that are unobserved as well as observed. The observed differentials can be controlled for in a parametric empirical specification. The unobserved heterogeniety is, however, still prevalent, and we need to take a different strategy to better identify it. To do so, we included in our samples only those SMEs which had applied for the same public loan program, that is the NGF. Evidently, some applicants were approved and some were rejected after a pre-announced screening process. We used the rejected SMEs as a control group. Because they were viewed as an under-performing group by the SBC standard, the estimated effect must be in favor of the beneficiary SMEs. That is, the comparison group should playa a key role in lowering the boundary for the NGF effects. If the estimated policy effect was indeed in favor of the control group, then we can conclude that the treated SMEs had performed poorly and that the NGF did not serve the purpose of the program. Furthermore, we explicitly took into consideration the survival of the SMEs in order to minimize the survival bias, which is chronic in this line of literature. The data showed that the average financial performances of the beneficiary SMEs were worse than that of the rejected SMEs if we ignore the survival patterns of the SMEs. The reason is that the NGF tends to extenuate the lives of the marginal SMEs whose performances were poor while the rejected SMEs ended up filing for bankruptcies after the rejection, leaving only the fittest among the rejected SMEs to survive. As a result, the average performance of the rejected SMEs turned out to be better than that of the approved SMEs. The survival bias might cause an underestimation of the policy effect. To further minimize the selection bias, we benchmarked the concept of Heckman’s two-stage estimation which uses the control function approach. In sum, in order to accurately evaluate the policy effect of the NGF of SBC we developed the difference-indifferences estimation by explicitly considering the survivals of SMEs. For our empirical analysis, we used a set of administrative data to reduce the measurement errors. Specifically, the data pool is comprised of the longitudinal data on the public loan information for the NGF and the financial data from the Korean Enterprise Data (KED) over the period of 2002 through 2009. We primarily focused on the financial ratios as outcome variables, representing profitability (return on asset and return on equity), growth (growth of sales and growth of operation profit), and stability (debt ratio and own-capital ratio). The following three empirical analyses were implemented. First, we calculated the simple difference-in-differences estimates without any covariates. Second, we estimated the usual difference-in-differences estimated while controlling for the observed characteristics of the SMEs. Third, we additionally controlled for the possibility of survival in the short or medium term. We presented the estimation results for the purpose of comparison. The empirical results show the following three interesting facts. First, we found a noticeable level of survival bias. Thus, without properly handling the survival bias of the SMEs, we are likely to end up with the policy effect biased downward. Second, the profitability and stability of the beneficiary SMEs turned out to be improved by the NGF even though the statistical significance depends upon models and measurements. Lastly, the NGF tended to prolong the lives of the beneficiary SMEs to a statistical significance margin.
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이 논문은 주택담보대출 구조 개선을 위한 방안으로서 주택담보대출의 장기화가 필요하다는 전제하에, 그 재원조달 수단인 MBS 공급을 확대시킬 때 발생할 수 있는 문제점과 제약을 검토하고 MBS 시장 발전을 위한 정책 방안을 제시하였다. MBS는 장기 주택담보대출의 자금조달원으로서, 주택담보대출의 구조 전환을 위해서는 MBS 시장 발전이 요청된다. 본 연구는 MBS 시장 발전을 위한 다음과 같은 정책 방안을 제안하였다. 첫째, MBS 시장의 발전은 금융안정성을 저해하지 않는 방향으로 이루어져야 한다. 이를 위해서 우선 정책 당국은 MBS의 신용위험을 엄격하게 관리하도록 정책을 개선할 필요가 있다. 본 연구는 주택담보대출의 구조 전환 대상이 차입의 상환능력이 존재하지 않는 가계가 아닌, 상환능력이 존재함에도 불구하고 일시적인 원금 상환 위험에 노출되어 있는 가계로 한정해야 함을 강조한다. 이와 함께 정책 당국은 MBS 증가로 인한 시장 유동성 확대가 주택담보대출에 대한 과잉 공급으로 이어지지 않도록 전체적인 주택담보대출 금액을 관리, 감독해야 함도 지적하였다. 둘째, 본 연구는 MBS에 대한 잠재적 수요를 확대할 방안을 제시하였다. 구체적으로 통합발행제도 도입을 통해 MBS 유동성을 제고하고, MBS 정보공시제도의 개선을 통해서 투자자들의 MBS 투자한도 확대를 유도할 필요가 있음을 지적하였다.
One of problems in Korean housing loan markets is that most of the maturities of housing loans are so short that often borrowers are exposed to risks following the frequent changes in the volatile domestic housing markets and financial environments on the whole. Since year 2011, accordingly, the Korean government has made some policy initiatives to encourage the conversion of some portions of existing short-term housing loans into long-term mortgages. As mortgage back securities (hereafter MBS) are the financing resources for long-term mortgages, the MBS market should be developed to succeed in that policy. The objectives of this paper are to study the current problems and constraints in the MBS market and then suggest the policy implications for advancing the MBS market. This study stressed that, for the development of MBS market without pausing any threat to the financial market stabilization, two things should be taken into consideration in implementing the policy. First, the credit qualities of MBS’ underlying assets should be kept at certain level risk. Second, the government should control the aggregate liquidity to prevent the MBS from leading to the oversupply of housing loans. Considering the investors’ general attitudes and capabilities, the potential demand for MBS is not expected to be sufficient to match the increasing supply of MBS. According to our estimation, the outstanding amount of MBS will be 68 Trillion Won on the condition that the 30% of banks’ housing loans will be converted to the long-term mortgages at the end of year 2016, while the investors including insurance companies and public and private pension funds will have the capacity of holding only up to 55 Trillion Won. Therefore, the demand for MBS is likely to fall behind its increased supply. This paper, accordingly, reviewed several ways in which the demand for MBS can be raised under a number of possible scenarios. According to our scenario tests, the most doable way to increase the demand for MBS is to somehow improve the investors’ risk attitude toward MBS so that the investors will be more willing to hold greater portions of MBS in their assets. As the insufficient demand for MBS may make it more difficult to restructure the housing loan markets, the government also needs to devise a scheme to further boost the MBS market. This study suggested two measures to expand the demand for MBS. First, the liquidity of MBS should be enhanced to attract more investors. This can be achieved mainly in two ways: one way is to adopt the ‘fungible issue scheme’ for MBS, and the other is to simplify its tranches. Here, by the fungible issue, we mean that issuers supply the bonds with the same coupons and maturity dates within some period even if the issue dates are different. The scheme is to make investors regard those bonds as the same types of bonds. On the other hand, among tranches of MBS issued by KHFC, the seven-year maturity tranche is least liquid. We, therefore, suggest that the seven-year maturities are to be replaced by more of five-and ten-year tranches. Second, the government can set in place policy initiatives to increase transparency by wider scope of disclosure on the information of MBS. This will help increase the demand for MBS in the long run because improved transparency can certainly strengthen the investors’ confidence in the credit quality of MBS. Currently, as the information of each underlying asset of MBS is scarcely disclosed to investors, they evaluate the credit risk of MBS based not on the assessment of the qualities of underlying assets but on the guarantee of KHFC. As the investors currently set investment limits on MBS in line with the size of guarantor’s capital, it is necessary to forge an environment in which the investors can begin to rely more on underlying asset qualities, independently of the issuers. It is evident that the restructuring of housing loans from short-term lending to long-term mortgages has limited efficacy as a solution to the current problem of housing loans. While the policy may alleviate the vulnerability of housing loan markets to liquidity shock by diversifying the maturities of housing loans, it cannot alone solve the insolvency of housing loan borrowers, especially that of lowest income households. Therefore, the restructuring of housing loans should apply to only the borrowers who have the capability of solvency. This is because if the insolvent borrowers get the long-term mortgages, it will only increase credit risk in the financial market, further exacerbating its stability. In addition, financial policy alone are not sufficient to solve the aggravation of household credit risk and the insolvency of some household loans. More coordinated policies with other sectors such as employment and social welfare policies may significantly increase the chance of success. Though the financial aids may offer transient solution to some household borrowers’ shortage of liquidity, in the longer term, it can only add more burden on them as more aid means more amount to pay back in the future. Also housing loan problems stem from layers of issues surrounding Korea’s household loan markets. To start with, the household asset composition is heavily concentrated on real estates. Also, banks are reluctant to issue non-collateral loans, and the bankruptcy system has to be further advanced to meet the challenges of current financial market. Therefore, the restructuring scheme of housing loans can only make the limited contribution to solving the housing loan problems. However, the restructuring scheme is important because it will ease the current liquidity problem caused by the concentration on maturities of housing loans. As a result, the policy will be effective measures to prevent the housing loan problems from having a spillover effect on real economic sectors, causing economic crisis.
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본 논문은 중소기업 금융과 관련하여, “자금 공급이 부족한가?” 그리고 “신용차별이 존재하는가”의 두 가지 질문을 제기하고, 중소기업 펀딩 갭에 관한 국내외 실무적․이론적 논의들에 대한 개관과 국내 중소기업 자료를 이용한 실증분석을 실시한다. 먼저 중소기업진흥공단 지원금융 기각률 결정요인을 로짓(logit) 분석한 결과, 신용변수와 대부분의 차별변수들이 통계적으로 유의하였다. 특히 업력이 짧을수록 기각률이 높으나, 신생기업은 상대적으로 기각률이 낮았다. 한편 모형 설정에 따라 대도시 지역 및 대표자 나이가 적은 기업의 기각률이 높은 현상이 나타나기도 한다. 그러나 여성 대표자 변수는 통계적 유의성을 발견할 수 없었다. 이러한 결과는 중소기업 전반에 대한 신용차별이라기 보다는 중소기업 지원정책의 특성이 반영된 결과로 판단된다. 외부감사대상 중소기업을, 자산규모와 산업분류에 따라 12개 그룹으로 구분하여, 기업의 성장에 기인하는 펀딩 갭 규모 및 비율을 추정한 결과, 계산 가능 기업 중 약 70%가 자금부족 상태인 것으로 나타났다. 한편 자금부족 표본에 대해, 자산대비 펀딩 갭 비율을 계산한 결과, 자산규모 상위 표본과 전자/IT 산업 표본의 펀딩 갭 비율이 높은 것으로 판단된다.
In the small-and-medium-enterprise (SME) financing market, due to asymmetric information to which those smaller companies fall victims, the market failure frequently occurs. Accordingly, this paper raises two salient questions: one is on the credit discrimination that exists in the Korean SME financing market and the other is on whether the current financing supply is good enough to ensure the sustainable operation and growth of SMEs. Before answering these questions, we overview the practical and theoretical basis concerning the concepts and its categorization of the funding gap for SMEs. We also look into the SME financing policies and the effects they have on both in domestic and international context. With respect to the funding gap concepts, there are mainly two approaches (Cressy, 2002): positive and normative definitions. Positive definition argues that the funding gap is an equilibrium of an imperfect market, in which lending volume is below the level that would emerge in a perfect market. Normative definition argues that it is a market failure, for which appropriate policy response should be an increase in lending volume. However, this concept classification does not make any difference to the conclusion of this paper. We also introduce another categorization of the debt funding gap(Equinox Management Consultants, 2002): the size gap, the risk gap, the flexibility gap, and the knowledge gap. A size gap asserts that, for the small-and-medium sized firms, the demanded amounts of the debt funding are usually too small to be of interest to the institutional lenders such as large banks. A risk gap entails that lenders do not necessarily price loans solely based on potential risks. Rather, they reject loan applications if estimated risk exceeds a pre-specified cut-off rate or particular standards or if the available collateral is not sufficient. A flexibility gap postulates that according to some SME owners, financial institutions do not provide flexible terms and conditions tailored to their specific loan demands. Finally, a knowledge gap claims that the financial institutions do not understand knowledge-based businesses. We analyze the determinants of the turn down ratio of ‘Small & Medium Business Corporation of Korea’ loan applications, using the logit model. We use the loan application data which also contains some firm characteristic information including who applies for the ‘Small & Medium Business Corporation of Korea’lending and records of guarantee projects between 1999 and 2011. The logit regression outcomes show that the coefficients of the credit-related variables and most of the discrimination-related control variables are statistically significant. In particular, the shorter firm age leads to the higher rejection rate, but start-up companies have relatively lower rate of rejection. Depending on the model specification, the firm location and the age of CEO have some effects on the result; metropolitan companies and those with younger CEOs show relatively higher turn-down ratios. As for the female CEO dummy variables, we did not find any statistical significance. We argue that these empirical results should not be interpreted as the credit discrimination evidences for the Korean small-and-medium sized firms. Instead, these results could reflect the characteristics of the ‘Small and Medium Business Corporation of Korea’ policies. We estimate the size and proportion of the funding gap caused by the company's growth for the Korean SMEs which are mandated to be externally audited. In this paper, we use the model of Canovi and Venturelli (2008), which predict SMEs’ latent funding demand on the basis of growth speed. The firm’s growth speed is proxied by its sales growth rate, which in turn drives its financial debt demand. The funding gap reflects this difference that exists between the estimated financial debt funding demands and the real supplies of the financial debt. Our methods consider long-term growth driven funding demand while excluding the one-time capital-investment-driven funding demand. In addition, the estimated parameters are very sensitive with the cross-section and the time-series observations. Therefore, we averaged out each individual firm’s parameter estimates across the whole periods. We hope that future researches can resolve these limitations of our methods. We divided our pool of samples into 12 groups according to their asset sizes and industry classifications. The results show that about 70% of the companies considered in the sample is estimated to be lack of funds. For these fund-seeking companies, the group median values of the funding gap lie between 5% and 12% of the asset size. And these funding gap ratios are higher for the large asset groups and the electronic and IT (information and technology) industry group than those of the rest. These results seem to suggest that the firm size and the industry are critical factors that require serious consideration when devising a supporting policy for SMEs.
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