Corporate Finance Essay

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Corporate Finance Essay
Most corporate financing decisions in practice reduce to a choice between debt and equity. The finance manager wishing to fund a new project, but reluctant to cut dividends or to make a rights issue, which leads to the decision of borrowing options. The issue with regards to shareholder objectives being met by the management in making financing decisions has come to become a major issue of recent times. This relates to understanding the concept of the agency problem. It deals with the separation of ownership and control of an organisation within a financial context. The financial manager can raise long-term funds internally, from the company’s cash flow, or externally, via the capital market, the market for funds
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Any profits remaining after deducting operating costs, interest payments, taxation, and dividend are reinvested in the business and regarded as part of the equity capital. The finance manager will monitor the long-term financial structure by examining the relationship between loan capital, where interest and loan repayments are contractually obligatory, and ordinary share capital, where dividend payment is at the discretion of directors. This is known as gearing. There are two basic types of gearing, they are capital gearing which indicates the proportion of debt capital in the firm’s overall capital structure; and income gearing indicates the extent to which the company’s income is pre-empted by prior interest charges. Both are indicators of financial gearing.

Now, the advantages of debt capital centre on its relative cost. Debt capital is usually cheaper than equity because, the pre-tax rate of interest is invariably lower than the return required by shareholders. This is due to the legal position of lenders who have a prior claim on the distribution of the company’s income and who in liquidation precede ordinary shareholders in the queue for the settlement of claims. Debt is usually secured on the firm’s assets, which can be sold to pay off lenders in the event of default, i.e. failure to pay interest and capital according to the pre-agreed schedule;
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