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Shareholder investment horizons and bank debt financing

Journal of Banking & Finance. January 23, 2020

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Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of institutional shareholder investment horizons on a firm’s use of bank debt. We find that short-term institutional ownership of the borrowing firm has a negative effect on bank debt financing. This finding provides evidence consistent with the monitoring avoidance incentives of short-term shareholders. In contrast, long-term institutional ownership has a positive impact on the firm’s reliance on bank debt financing. These effects are attenuated by higher managerial ownership and more motivated investors and are exacerbated by higher information opacity. Our results are robust to potential endogeneity concerns, firm size effects, and alternative investment horizon measures. Investigating the effects of investment horizons on debt security, debt maturity, and debt covenants corroborate our main findings.

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