Target Capital Structure of Egyptian Listed Firms: Importance of Growth and Risk Factors

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This paper investigates the determinants and adjustment speed to the target capital structure of the Egyptian Listed firms over the period of 2009 – 2018. We use panel regression analysis to examine role of growth factors as well as risk factors in explaining the dynamics of target leverage. The main findings of the growth factors model (GFM) reveal that political risk, profitability and stock market return are negatively affect the target leverage of Egyptian firms. In contrast, investment opportunities, non-debt tax shield, firm size have significant positive effect on the target leverage. On the other hand, the results of risk factors model (RFM) indicate that political risk, size and profitability lose their significant effects for the account of firm risk, stock return, investment and asset tangibility. The business risk captures the effect of political risk on the target leverage. Interestingly, both the investment opportunities and the non-debt tax shield preserve their positive effects and thereby they are considered as the most important firm-specific determinants of the target leverage. We find no significant effects of the economic growth, macroeconomic risk and stock market volatility on the target leverage in Egypt. Regarding the adjustment speed and in the presence of growth (risk) factors, the Egyptian firms take 2.7 (4.4) years to adjust their current leverage toward the target leverage.