CFOs ready to take risks

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are rating bank borrowing as an attractive source of funding for the first time in two years, a survey finds.

Bank loans, placing shares on the stock market and issuing bonds are all rated attractive by a balance of the CFOs surveyed by accountancy firm Deloitte. This is the first time all three modes of financing have found favour since the survey began in the third quarter of 2007.

The balance of CFOs willing to take on financial risk has also hit its peak since 2007, while only 22 per cent of respondents think that UK corporate balance sheets are overleveraged, compared to a peak of 60 per cent one year ago.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, says, ‘CFOs are becoming more willing to take risk on to their balance sheets, more so than at any time since the recession started. This recovery in corporate risk appetite mirrors the behaviour of financial markets where risky assets, such as equities, have outperformed safe assets such as gilts and cash.’

But the 141 CFOs surveyed by Deloitte, most of them from FTSE 350 companies, remain cautious about economic recovery. Some 82 per cent anticipate a ‘sluggish but sustained’ return to growth.

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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