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The persistence of zombie firms in a low yield world

March 1, 2018
In the fourth part of our series on the impact of rising yields, we discuss the rising incidence of zombie firms in recent years. Bottom-up data of some 3,000 companies in the FTSE All World index show that the percentage of zombie firms has more than tripled to 2.0% of firms in 2016 from 0.6% in 1996. Such firms are defined as those with an interest coverage ratio under 1x for 2 consecutive years and a price to sales ratio under 3x. That matters because zombie firms are linked to fading business dynamism and because years of low interest rates should have led to fewer such firms, not more. There are early signs we are at a turning point, however. The numbers for 2017, with two-thirds of firms reporting, suggest that zombie firm incidence declined sharply last year. If this proves to be a real trend, it may give central banks confidence that continuing to raise rates and pull away from unconventional monetary policy will have some advantages. [more]

More documents about "International"

182 (25-36)
December 4, 2019
27
Many ‘decade ahead’ predictions prove unreliable. And we admit this special edition of Konzept cannot be a perfect crystal ball. Regardless, we present 24 contrarian ideas for how the 2020s may evolve because we believe it is best to be prepared for the unexpected themes that may arise over the coming decade. After all, if the 2010s have taught us anything it is that the trends of the prior decade are no guide for the decade to come. [more]
December 3, 2019
Analyst:
28
The past year and a half has seen an impressive slide in the global economy. Global GDP growth is expected to have ebbed to its lowest rate since the great recession this year, with some regions nearing recession and others increasingly fearing it. The primary factor is the strongly depressing effect on global trade and investment that has resulted from sharp increases in economic policy uncertainty associated with both trade policy conflicts and Brexit. [more]
November 20, 2019
Analyst:
30
Trading volumes in foreign exchange instruments have increased significantly across the board in 2019 compared to the last global FX survey three years ago. Surprisingly, the pivotal role of London as the main trading location was reconfirmed, despite fears around the impact of Brexit. Yet a general move to central clearing might challenge this after the UK leaves the EU. [more]
November 20, 2019
Analyst:
31
An increasing number of European countries have set zero net emission targets and the ambition to rapidly lower greenhouse gas emissions is growing. Although there has been significant investor focus on the power and transport sectors, there has been very limited attention on how to decarbonise the residential and industrial sectors. [more]
September 23, 2019
34
Jim Reid, Global Head of Thematic Research & Credit Research, Deutsche Bank Research has just published his annual Long-Term Asset Return Study. This year's focus is on the History and Future of Debt. The report also have all the usual long-term returns data for dozens of countries across different asset classes tracked back over more than a century for many series. [more]
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