Barriers to the Ugandan Corporate bond market: a companies’ perspective

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Nsamba, Andrew
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MSc International Accounting and Finance
Dublin Business School
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There is a nexus between economic development of a country and development of its financial markets as the latter facilitates efficient allocation of capital. Ugandan companies have very limited access to finance with over 90% having no debt financing at all on their balance sheet. The available finance in form of bank loans is very expensive and short term in nature. As banks cannot match the needs of the business community, the other available option would be bond financing, however, this has not taken off despite having the legal and regulatory framework in place. This study reached out to establish factors impeding Ugandan companies from issuing corporate bonds. The results showed that there were a number of factors that have hindered companies from issuing bonds. These include a shallow financial market with limited investors, low financial literacy in regard to bonds, high issue costs for bonds due to a number of several reasons, the high rates of the benchmark yields on Government securities have also indirectly contributed and the limited size of Ugandan companies. The above factors cannot allow attainment of the full potential of the Ugandan market and as such many companies are still depending on bank loans. This is true even for large multinational banks which could have the capacity to issue investment grade bonds. Author keywords: Bond financing