Capital structure, asset utilization, profitability and growth in the Greek manufacturing sector
Greece's accession to the European Union (EU) has affected its economy and its manufacturing sector. Large-size enterprises (LSEs) form a small but vital part of Greek manufacturing and constitute a major component of the country's stock market. According to finance theory, the capital structure of a firm affects its capital cost and market value. This paper, by using dynamic panel data techniques, investigates the determinants of capital structure of LSEs in the Greek manufacturing sector. The findings suggest that asset utilization, gross and net profitability and total assets growth have a significant effect on the capital structure of LSEs. This has straightforward policy implications. Following recent economic developments, Greek firms are exposed to a stronger competition in the EU and global markets, but also to new opportunities. In order to improve their capital structure, Greek manufacturing LSEs need to achieve higher asset utilization and profit margins through economies of scale attained mainly by higher exports. Moreover, governmental measures aiming to support LSEs' efforts should focus their impact on alleviating taxation, reducing bureaucratic burdens, minimizing market imperfections and subsidizing applications of new technology.