Capital Rationing


Capital Rationing is a situation where a company has insufficient capital to complete all projects which it would like to undertake (e.g. those with a positive NPV).

Broadly, Capital Rationing can be described as:

  • Soft Capital Rationing – due to factors internal to the organisation. For example, projects are limited to funds available from retentions; management are unwilling to commit to additional debt due to the risk involved; the capacity of management to undertake many projects etc.
  • Hard Capital Rationing – due to factors external to the organisation. For example, restrictions imposed on further borrowing due to a credit squeeze or lenders unwilling to provide further funds due to risk factors; stock market depressed and share issue not acceptable etc.



  • Defer one or more projects to a later period when capital is not rationed
  • Share project(s) with another partner
  • Outsource part of a project (e.g. component)
  • Consider licensing/franchising


Seek alternative sources of funding (e.g. venture capital, sale & leaseback)

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