Financial Companies in Latvia: Why are they Coming to the Bond Market?
Keywords:corporate bonds, corporate bond market, financial sector issuers, factors, Latvia
In the period 2013-2017 Latvian corporate bond market had experienced the abrupt growth of the number of public Latvian corporate bond issues outstanding. The base of the expansion was formed by the financing activity of Latvian financial sector issuers (FSIs) with their weight in the pool of corporate bond issues listed in Nasdaq Riga at 85%. In 2019, FSIs remain the main issuer in Latvian corporate bond market (64% of the number of issues (Nasdaq Baltic, 2019)). The financing needs and preferences of the FSIs not only shape the segment profitability but also build Latvian corporate bond market sustainability.
Academic papers provide broad motivation for corporate debt issuing: an efficient competition to bank funding, long-term financing, improvement of the cash flow by decreasing the cost of debt, optimization of the financial structure, and efficient ownership structure. The existing academic research is modest on the analysis of the FSI segment as the issuer segment in the debt market where academics do analyse the corporate bonds issuance by the FSIs where motivating factors stimulating FSIs to come to the public debt market are seldom separated while size and characteristics of the issuers are mostly scrutinised.
The aim of this article is to analyse the determinant of the development of the FSI segment of the corporate bond market in Latvia by defining the factors stimulating the bond issuing decision as made by the FSI segment. This article provides primary data analysis of both survey and in-depth interviews with Latvian FSI segment representatives run in the period June-August 2017. The results of the analysis indicate that bank borrowing is not treated as the funding alternative for FSIs where issuing debt and equity funding are the recognised funding sources of the FSI segment. The growing role of the peer-to-peer platform financing is recognised and will further influence the FSI segment alternative financing. The main factors motivating FSIs to come to the debt market are reputation a company gets as the result of the bond issue, strategical ambition to be present in the public market, cost of funding in the long-term (more than 3 years). The methods used in this article are scientific publication analysis, document analysis, expert survey, in-depth interviews, and statistical data analysis.