Liquidity Risk

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 capitalNegative Working CapitalNegative Working Capital refers to a scenario when a company has more current liabilities than current assets. It implies that the available short-term assets are not enough to pay off the short-term debts. read more 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.


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Example of Liquidity Risk

  1. Inability to meet short-term debt due to exceptional losses or damages during Operations.
  2. 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.
  3. The rise of material causes rises in manufacturing expense for the concern. For example, liquidity risk can rise in commodityCommodityA commodity refers to a good convertible into another product or service of more value through trade and commerce activities. It serves as an input or raw material for the manufacturing and production more prices is not welcome for the business, which is manufacturing Auto Ancillaries.

For example, if we analyze the financial ratiosAnalyze The Financial RatiosFinancial ratios are indications of a company's financial performance. There are several forms of financial ratios that indicate the company's results, financial risks, and operational efficiency, such as the liquidity ratio, asset turnover ratio, operating profitability ratios, business risk ratios, financial risk ratio, stability ratios, and so more 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 RatioApplication Of The Current RatioThe current ratio is a liquidity ratio that measures how efficiently a company can repay it' short-term loans within a year. Current ratio = current assets/current liabilities read more. 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 liabilitiesCurrent LiabilitiesCurrent Liabilities are the payables which are likely to settled within twelve months of reporting. They're usually salaries payable, expense payable, short term loans more from its short-term assets.

Sears Current Ratio

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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.

Let us take another example of the liquidity risk of Ruchira Papers Ltd (Indian Company.

The following are the current assetCurrent AssetCurrent assets refer to those short-term assets which can be efficiently utilized for business operations, sold for immediate cash or liquidated within a year. It comprises inventory, cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts receivable, more 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.

Balance Sheet of Liquidity Risk


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 equivalentCash And EquivalentCash and Cash Equivalents are assets that are short-term and highly liquid investments that can be readily converted into cash and have a low risk of price fluctuation.  Cash and paper money, US Treasury bills, undeposited receipts, and Money Market funds are its examples. They are normally found as a line item on the top of the balance sheet asset. read more 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 LtdFY14 (INR Cr.)FY13 (INR Cr.)
Share holder’s funds9,161.589,226.34
Short-Term Borrowings6,273.075,232.86
Long-term Borrowings25,566.1021,664.21
Total borrowings31,839.1726,897.07

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 ratioD/E RatioThe debt to equity ratio is a representation of the company's capital structure that determines the proportion of external liabilities to the shareholders' equity. It helps the investors determine the organization's leverage position and risk level. read more, 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:

  1. A short-term loan or bank overdraftBank OverdraftOverdraft is a banking facility that offers short-term credit to the account holders by allowing them to withdraw money from their savings or current account even if their account balance is or below zero. Its authorized limit differs from customer to more 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Starting from Developed EconomyDeveloped EconomyA developed economy is the one that has a high per capita income or per capita GDP, a high degree of industrialization, developed infrastructure, technical advances, and a relatively high rank in human development, health, and more 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 laborCost Of LaborCost of labor is the remuneration paid in the form of wages and salaries to the employees. The allowances are sub-divided broadly into two categories- direct labor involved in the manufacturing process and indirect labor pertaining to all other more, 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 –

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