Informations and abstract
Keywords: Financial Constraints; Banks; Businesses; Guarantees; Confidi.
The aim of this paper is to analyse the financial constraints to the development of Italian businesses in crisis times. The theoretical part of the paper focuses on two elements of the so-called confidi that, interacting each other, define their characteristics: the cooperative element and the guarantee factor. These two factors tend to reduce credit rationing affecting both small and medium-size enterprises and those located in disadvantaged areas. The empirical analysis investigates the degree of capitalization and the leverage of Italian businesses in relation to European ones. In addition, the structural and functional aspects of the Fondo Centrale di Garanzia (a fund designated to issue final guarantees) for small and medium enterprises at the Ministry of Economic Development are considered. In this context, the amounts received and guaranteed by the Fondo Centrale di Garanzia are analysed according to their different distributions, also considering their geographical destinations, the ways of interventions under the form of co-guarantee, counter-guarantees to confidi, guarantee to banks; the economic sectors and the deadline structure of the operations. Finally, this paper considers how the functionality of confidi and Fondo Centrale di Garanzia may reduce the degree of rationing that, especially during crisis times, affects small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those located in the South of Italy.