FINANCIAL POLICY OF ITALIAN SMEs: THE IMPACT OF MINI-BOND

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Maria Serena Angelini , Alessandro Gennaro ORCID logo, Renato Giovannini

DOI:10.22495/cocv16i3art10

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Abstract

Matter of interest is the financing policies adopted by Italian SMEs to sustain their business cycles and competitive strategies; more specifically, the paper attempts to verify the role played by the “mini-bond”, a financing instrument introduced in 2012 by the Italian government. So, this paper can be framed in the part of the wide financial literature that examines the financing decisions of SMEs. In this field, it provides a contribution in this field by analyzing the impacts on the financing policy and choices, generated by the introduction of new and alternative financial instruments. Therefore, focusing on the Italian context, the research analyses whether the mini-bonds have actually triggered variations in capital structure, solvency and profitability of Italian SMEs that have issued mini-bond. After having considered trends and statistics about the mini-bond market, the paper examines the effects of financial policies adopted by Italian companies that tapped the bond market in the last 7 years. The analysis is based on a dataset extracted from database AIDA; this dataset includes accounting data and financial ratios taken from financial statements of Italian SMEs that issued mini-bond between 2012-2016. The research covers a sample of 246 Italian companies and focuses on their accounting ratios related to financial leverage, solvency, and profitability. Considering the variation between the years before and after the issues for each of 12 considered ratios, we measured average, median and standard deviation of variations to analyze the financial behaviour of SMEs in the sample. This research framework is slightly different from previous researches because, to correctly interpret the average variations, we carried out a preliminary significance check using the Student distribution, and we observed the coherence between average and median, also considering if positive variations were less or more than negative ones. The main results we obtain are that mini-bonds have: an impact on the issuer’s capital structure, with clear impacts on the level and maturity of indebtness; a positive influence on the short-term solvency level of the issuers.

Keywords: Leverage, Capital Structure, Mini-Bond, Financing Policy

JEL Classification: G32

Received: 28.02.2019

Accepted: 27.05.2019

Published online: 28.05.2019

How to cite this paper: Angelini, M. S., Gennaro, A., & Giovannini, R. (2019).
Financial policy of Italian SMEs: The impact of mini-bond. Corporate Ownership & Control, 16(3), 113-128. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv16i3art10