Financial leverage and performance of SMEs in Vietnam: Evidence from the post-crisis period


  • Tung Duy Bui University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City
  • Huan Huu Nguyen University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City
  • Vu Minh Ngo



This study examines the link between capital structure and firm performance (measured by ROA and ROE), focusing on a large sample of SMEs in Vietnam during the postcrisis period (2008-2016). Empirical results from various panel data models confirm the nonlinear relationship between debt financing and firm profitability. This relationship takes the form of an inverted-U shape. Firm profitability only increases to a certain level of leverage. When the debt ratio becomes too high, firm performance starts to decrease. These results highlight the role of financial distress costs in debt financing for SMEs. Furthermore, the paper also confirms the heterogeneity between state-owned firms and private ones. Policy implications are also discussed.


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How to Cite

Bui, T. D., Nguyen, H. H., & Ngo, V. M. (2021). Financial leverage and performance of SMEs in Vietnam: Evidence from the post-crisis period. Economics and Business Letters, 10(3), 229-239.