Cash holdings and firm characteristics : evidence from UK market

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Μαγεράκης, Ευστάθιος
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Abstract
This thesis investigates the determinants of UK corporate cash holdings between 1980 and 2012. The global and long term phenomenon of corporate cash pilling has drawn significant attention from researchers. Similarly, this study aims at shedding light on the empirical relationship between cash holding and specific firm characteristics. Our preliminary research incorporates a comprehensive literature review. Towards this end, the relevant financial theory is presented and the previous empirical studies are highlighted. Afterwards, the expected results of our research are synthesized into a set of distinct hypotheses and tested with regression analysis. The empirical findings suggest that cash holdings are positively related to investment opportunity, as R&D and market to book ratio. Cash ratio is also positively related to industry cash flow volatility and negatively affected by cash flow, net working capital, capital expenditures, leverage, tax expenses, age and size. Regarding the development of the determinants of cash holdings, the study indicates that three major variables influenced cash holdings over the years of analysis. In particular, leverage, tax regime and capital expenditures significantly affect the corporate liquidity in UK market. Furthermore, the results suggest that cash holdings are mostly defined by trade off theory. Indeed, our findings offer stimulating insights on the factors that determine the firms’ cash holdings during the past three decades. These findings may be beneficial for financial managers, investors and consultants.
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Cash holdings, Trade-off model, Pecking order theory, Free cash flow theory, Cash-to-total-assets, Firm size, Leverage, Cash flow, Liquid assets, Investment opportunity
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