The net amount of cash held by FTSE 100 companies has soared by two-fifths over the last year, according to research by financial administration experts, Capita Asset Services, part of Capita.
Analysis of the balance sheets of FTSE 100 companies (excluding financials such as banks) shows net cash positions, the balance after short-term debt has been subtracted, have soared as companies continue to repay their borrowings.
The net cash position of FTSE 100 firms has increased by 41 per cent over the last 12 months, climbing to £53.5bn – a rise of £15.6bn from £37.9bn in 2013.
Back in 2008, just before the global recession hit, this net cash figure was £12.2bn.
Companies have paid down £18.1bn of short-term debt in the last year, bringing such borrowing by the FTSE 100 down by 18 per cent to £84.5bn.
Mining companies have improved their net cash position the most, by £11bn year on year, while oil and gas companies have seen their net cash balance fall by £8bn, more than any other sector.
Both food producers (£7.4bn) and mobile and telecoms companies (£6.7bn) have also seen net cash positions improve significantly, although the latter is down to Vodafone, where the sale of Verizon caused its gross cash pile to grow by £2.6bn.