“Gear” is another term for leverage, so geared beta is just the fully leveraged beta , whereas ungeared is what beta would be without leverage. Typically beta is. Learn about Ungearing & Regearing straight from the ACCA AFM (P4) Take this asset beta and regear it using our gearing ratio as follows. Unlevered Beta (Asset Beta) is the volatility of returns for a business, without considering its financial leverage. It only takes into account its assets. It compares .

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As such it can be viewed as part of a wider discussion looking at cost of capital. Equity shareholders are paid only after all other commitments have been met.

Ungearing & Regearing

They are the last investors to be paid out of company profits. The same pattern of payment also occurs on the winding up of a bet. The order of priority is:.

As their earnings also fluctuate, equity shareholders therefore face the greatest risk of all investors. Since ordinary shares are the most risky investments the company offer, they are also the most expensive form of finance for the company. Given the link to the volatility of company earnings, it is these investors that will face more risk if the company was to embark on riskier projects.

If we want to assess the impact of any geares increase or decrease in risk on our estimate of the cost of finance, we must focus on the impact on the cost of equity.

An investor, knowing that a particular investment was risky, could decide to reduce the overall risk faced, by acquiring a second share with a different risk profile and so obtain a smoother average return.

The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

yeared In the diagram above, the investor has combined investment A for example shares in a company making sunglasses with investment B, perhaps shares in a company making raincoats. The fortunes of both firms are affected by the weather, but whilst A benefits from the sunshine, B loses out and vice versa for the rain.


The diagram above is an exaggeration, as it is unlikely that the returns of any two businesses would move in such opposing directions,but the principle of an investor diversifying a portfolio of holdings to reduce the risk faced is a good one.

However an investor can reduce risk by diversifying to hold a portfolio of shareholdings, since shares in different industries will at least to some degree offer differing returns profiles over gdared. Initial diversification will bring about substantial risk reduction as gearedd investments are added to the portfolio. However risk reduction slows and eventually stops altogether once carefully selected investments have been combined.

ACCA AFM (P4) Notes: Ungearing & Regearing | aCOWtancy Textbook

The risk a shareholder faces is in large part due to the volatility ofthe company’s earnings. This volatility can occur because of:. Systematic risk will affect all companies in the same way although to varying degrees. Non-systematic risk factors will impact each firm differently, depending on their circumstances. Rational risk-averse bets would wish to reduce the risk they faced to a minimum and would therefore:.

The returns on the shares of quoted companies can be compared to returns on the whole stock market e. Beta is found as the gradient of the regression line that results. Betas for projects are found by taking the beta of a quoted company in the same business sector as the project.

The required return of a rational risk-averse well-diversified investor can be found by returning to our original argument:. Different accountancy bodies use slightly different versions of the above equation.

In particular the LHS is shown as follows:. If an investment is riskier than average i. If an investment is less risky than average i. However, the above only considers the business risk.

Firms must provide a return to compensate for the risk faced by investors, and even for a well-diversified investor, this systematic risk will have two causes:. It is critical in examination questions to identify which type of beta you have been given and what risk it reflects.


The steps to calculating the right beta and how to use it in project appraisal are:. This may be given to you in the question. You can do this using the asset beta formula given to you in the exam.

This means that the asset beta formula can be simplified to:. When using this formula to de-gear a given equity beta, V e and V d should relate to the company or industry from which the equity beta has been taken. If needing a risk adjusted WACCthen the following steps need to be followed as well.

veared Re-gear the asset beta to convert it to an equity beta based on the gearing levels of the company undertaking the project. The same asset beta formula as given above can be used, except this time V e and V d will relate to the company making the investment.

This is done using the standard CAPM formula. Remember that CAPM just gives you a risk-adjusted K eso once a company has found the relevant shareholders’ required return for the ungeares it could combine it with the cost of debt to calculate a risk adjusted weighted average cost of capital. This is discussed in further detail here. Turn off more accessible mode Kaplan Wiki.

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