Why do firms hold cash? Evidence from Korean stock listings

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Corporate governance and the availability of external financing can be important determinants of corporate cash holdings. In this research, in line with Opler et al. (1999), the authors find that Korean firms’ cash holdings are affected by firm-level characteristics including firm size, leverage, market to book, cash flow ratio, net working capital, and cash flow volatility in addition to corporate governance. Rather than agency-prone, the authors can ascribe the increase in cash holdings to the precautionary corporate demand for cash (Campbell et al., 2001). The authors also report that operating risks stemming from cash flow volatility, unavailability of external finance, credit rating downgrades, etc., may be associated with precautionary corporate demand for cash. Lastly, it is documented that corporate governance proxied for by block and/or insider ownership stakes is inversely associated with corporate cash holdings.

Keywords: demand for money, corporate governance, corporate cash holding.
JEL Classification: G39, E41, G34

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