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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"

196 (25-36)
April 22, 2020
28
The economic slump is taking its toll on the banking industry. For the major US banks, profits in Q1 more than halved compared to the prior year, as loan loss reserves jumped. Revenues declined moderately with weakness in interest income and fees and commissions partly compensated for by a jump in trading income. Deposits, loans and other assets surged because clients hoarded liquidity. Banks’ capital ratios fell only somewhat and they remain well capitalised. Banks in Europe may have faced similar trends overall but will probably have benefited less from the supportive trading environment and suffered more from declining capital ratios. They are also handicapped by their much lower starting level in terms of profitability. [more]
March 24, 2020
32
The world economy has, to all intents and purposes, ground to a halt with widespread social distancing and lock-down measures resulting in the closure of restaurants, retail, travel, sporting events and many other business. The impact on local and global growth is unlike any other period in the past as governments come up with economic rescue packages underwritten by central bank easing. [more]
March 3, 2020
33
Growth in luxury has been primarily driven by brand heat and newness, however millennials and Gen Z are increasingly demanding more quality and sustainability. In a recent Deutsche Bank Research consumer survey on what criteria are important for luxury spending and how they have changed over time: sustainability saw the third largest increase to importance when purchasing luxury. [more]
February 27, 2020
35
We revisit the debt situation in Argentina and update our assessment on debt sustainability by projecting both debt stocks and FX debt repayment capacity. Argentina’s debt problem originates from fiscal dominance and lack of nominal anchor. The problem will likely persist in the future unless Argentina implements structural reforms. Current macroeconomic conditions are significantly more challenging than in the early 2000s in terms of potential growth, inflation, and external conditions. [more]
February 25, 2020
36
The Phase One trade agreement between the US and China is more than a trade war truce and USD200 bn of purchases. It covers a broad range of topics from intellectual property (IP) protection to opening up China's market. Our broad assessment is successful implementation of this trade deal could bring sizable long-term benefits to China and the world economy. [more]
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