The Bondholder-Stockholder Conflict: The Relation between Debt Covenants and Bond Spreads

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen; Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract:

Prior research on covenants show that they are frequently included in corporate debt agreements as means of mitigating bondholder-stockholder conflicts. As covenants should be more frequently included when there is a higher degree of bondholder-stockholder conflict, what is then the relation between covenants and spread? Our results show that on the Norwegian corporate debt market, bonds that include covenants have a higher spread than those that do not. The results of an OLS-regression using some of the most common covenants, Z’-score and bond spread shows that the 43 % of bond spread can be explained by whether the bond includes dividend restrictions, equity restrictions and poison puts, and the Z’-score of the issuer.

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