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The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of financial leverage on corporate financial performance of Pakistan’s textile sector from 1999-2012 using panel data. The leverage-performance relationship is examined with a special focus on the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. Both accounting-based (Return on Assets - ROA) and market-based (Tobin’s Q) measures of corporate financial performance are used. Regression analysis is performed with and without inclusion of financial crisis dummy. Total Debt to Total Assets (TDTA), Long Term Debt to Total Assets (LDTA), Short Term Debt to Total Assets (SDTA) and Debt to Equity (DE) ratios are used as proxies for financial leverage whereas firm’s size and firm’s efficiency are used as control variables. The results indicate that financial leverage has a negative impact on corporate performance when measured with ROA. Whereas in case of Tobin’s Q, SDTA coefficient is positive. It can be concluded that since cost of borrowing is high in Pakistan and debt capital markets are less developed, firms are forced to resort to banks as their source of debt finance and thus have to repay huge amount of principal and interest which has a heavy toll on their financial health. In addition to this, financial crisis was found to have a negative impact on corporate performance and also affect the leverage-performance relationship.
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