What is Liquidity Risk?
‘Liquidity Risk’ means ‘Cash Crunch’ for a temporary or short-term period, and such situations generally have an adverse effect on any Business and Profit making Organization. Unable to meet short-term Debt or short-term liabilities, the business house ends up with negative working capital in most of the cases. This is a familiar situation that is cyclical in nature and happens during the recession or when a particular economy is not doing well. On the other hand, the company has an obligation to pay its short-term expenses, payment to its Creditors, short term loans, etc. on a monthly basis.
Example of Liquidity Risk
- Inability to meet short-term debt due to exceptional losses or damages during Operations.
- Unable to meet proper funding within a specific time-frame. In most of the Startup funding based Companies, there is a risk of break-even. Thus, if the Business does not get the next funding, then there can be a possibility of Liquidity risk.
- The rise of material causes rises in manufacturing expense for the concern. For example, liquidity risk can rise in commodity prices is not welcome for the business, which is manufacturing Auto Ancillaries.
For example, if we analyze the financial ratios of Suprajit Engineering Ltd., we would find the followings:
- Revenue grew at 12.17% in FY18 v/s FY17
- Material costing has bumped up by 16.06%
- Gross Profit at 45.74% v/s 47.56% a year ago.
Because of the rise in the price of Iron & Steel, Aluminum, Zinc will lower the initial margin of the business due to higher raw material costs.
Measurement of Liquidity Risk
One of the prime measurement of liquidity risk is the application of the Current Ratio. The current ratio is the value of current or Short-term liabilities as per Current Liabilities. The Ideal ratio is believed to be more than 1, which suggests the firm has the capacity to pay its current liabilities from its short-term assets.
Sears Holding stock fell by 9.8% on the back of continuing losses and poor quarterly results. Sears balance doesn’t look too good either. Moneymorning has named Sears Holding as one of the five companies that may go bankrupt soon.
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Let us take another example of the liquidity risk of Ruchira Papers Ltd (Indian Company.
The following are the current asset and Current liability standings of Ruchira Papers Ltd for the year ended FY17 and FY18. Thus we can derive the following from the given data.
- Revenue grew by 6.14% by Yoy basis, Profit Before tax increase by 25.39% with a PBT margin of 12.83% in FY18 vs. 10.84% in FY17.
- The net profit margin stood at 8.36% in FY18 vs. 7.6% in FY17, and Net profit grew by 17%.
- The current Ratio during FY 18 stands at 1.31 v/s 1.4 in FY 17, which can term as mild slippage in Operational efficiency and a decrease in Working Capital. But still, 1.31 of the Current ratio is very healthy compared to the Ideal one of 1.
- Inventory has increased by 23%, which is less than the sales growth of 6%, Accounts Receivable increased by 8.67%, which is also more than Revenue growth. More of the Inventory is funded by short-term borrowing and Cash, which resulted in a decrease in cash by 23% and a rise in Short-term borrowings by 30.13%.
These are some classic Liquidity risk examples. In spite of higher revenue and higher profitability, the company’s current ratio has slipped marginally, whereas the excess inventory and rising Accounts Receivable put pressure on the working capital, which resulted in a decrease in Cash and equivalent and an increase of Short-term borrowings. The future operation has to done carefully so as to AR to Sales should be less than the previous year’s AR to Sales ratio, and then there should be an increase in Cash and decrease in Short-term borrowings.
Some short-term liquidity crisis may lead to a long-term negative impact on the Business.
As per one of the Ace Investor, Mr. Warren Buffet, ‘I’ve seen more people fail because of liquor and leverage.’ Thus, Mr. Buffet is emphasizing the term ‘leverage’ or ‘Borrowings’ or; ‘Debt.’
As an example of liquidity risk, the Short term and long term borrowings of Bhushan Steel Ltd. are as follows:
|B/S data of Bhushan Steel Ltd||FY14 (INR Cr.)||FY13 (INR Cr.)|
|Share holder’s funds||9,161.58||9,226.34|
Due to poor operational efficiency, the business is being funded by Short-term borrowings, which have increased by 20%, and Long-term borrowing has increased by 18%, respectively. Due to a jump in short-term loan and lower return from business, the borrowings got a pileup, and the total borrowings have increased by 18%, whereas the Shareholder’s wealth got slashed by 1%. D/E ratio, which should ideally be less than 1, has increased to 3.45 in FY14 v/s 2.91 in FY13.
How is the Liquidity Risk Controlled?
There are several instances when the unexpected losses or the liquidity crunch could be overcome with smart liquidity risk management involvements, which are listed as follows:
- A short-term loan or bank overdraft can be taken; the amount should be restricted to the future possible earnings that the company is going to receive in the coming days. For liquidity risk management, a Sundry Debtor will pay the bill in the coming 15 days, and hence the short-term cash crunch can be met by taking a bank overdraft of Bills of exchange.
- In case a big order book has been canceled, and no amount has been received against the bill, and the manufacturing process has been started (from raw materials purchase to hire of labor), then the liquidity risk management should not hinder the work process. Rather the liquidity risk management should communicate to the marketing team so as to sell the excess production at a nominal rate, so as to incur the cost of production.
- Starting from Developed Economy to Developing Economy, all the countries face excess liquidity in the system due to a rise in the bonds rate, a rise in the cost of labor, cost of production, and cost of Raw-materials. The Oil-importing nation feels the heat of inflation when the international crude-oil price rises. The rising cost inched up at each and every aspect of manufacturing.
Liquidity Risk Video
This has been a guide to Liquidity Risk and its definition. Here we discuss how to measure liquidity risk along with examples and its interpretations. We discuss how you can control it. You may also have a look at these articles below to learn more about Corporate Finance –