Monday, 22 January 2018

Debt has always been an efficient tool?

One snippet:

"DEBT has always been an efficient tool for finance and investment and it comes to no surprise that the list of companies that have the largest amount of debt includes some of the largest companies on Bursa Malaysia."

That is a rather remarkable statement in itself. 

I would therefore like to add some counterweight:

"Debt has also always been an efficient tool to bancrupt a company in the fastest possible way".

There are worldwide many, many examples of companies that used too much debt and did not live to tell the tale.

One reason for the increased risk of bancruptcy is that earnings are simply too low (or even negative) to sustain the debt payments.

Another reason is that despite having reasonable earnings a company might run into cashflow problems.

The stable of enterprises of Khazanah might have more options to increase debt even more (through Khazanah), but that might not always lead to the desired outcome and even increase the problem. MAS might be one example in this category.

Also, easier debt from a GLF like Khazanah might give a company a possibly unfair advantage over its privately funded rivals.

An example of a heavily indebted company outside the Khazanah stable is 1MDB, a story that most likely will end very costly for the Malaysian taxpayers.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the key drawbacks of using the weighted-average cost of capital (WACC) in my opinion. A company with a higher level of debt will generally have a lower cost of capital, than one with little debt or net cash. Which company is inherently more risky?