cash holdings, liquidity, financial Crisis, SMEs, Panel data


This paper examines the determinants of cash holdings in a large sample of the Slovenian small and medium sized companies in the period 2006-2013. The empirical results provide support for the transactions and precautionary motives in the cash policies of the analysed SMEs. However, we find evidence in favour of the speculative motive as well, by ascertaining that smaller, exporting and more profitable firms hold more cash. The paper also establishes that the net working capital and financial debt can be considered as cash substitutes and that keeping close relationships with banks reduces agency costs and information asymmetries and leads to lower cash levels. In addition, the ability to internally generate funds expressed as higher operating cash flow reduces the amounts of cash held. Finally, evidence shows that longer cash conversion cycles and requirements for mandatory retirement benefit contributions result in higher cash balances, while weaker empirical support is found also for the negative influence of the interest rate level on cash holdings.