Motives for holding cash
1.   Transaction motive

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Firms need cash to meet their transaction needs. The collection of cash (from sale of goods and services, sale of assets, and additional financing) is not perfectly synchronized with the disbursement of cash (for purchase of goods and services, acquisition, of capital assets, and meeting other obligations. Hence, some cash balance is required as a buffer.

2.   Precautionary motive

There may be some uncertainty about the magnitude and timing of cash inflow from sale of goods and services, sale of assets, insurance of securities. Like wise, there may be uncertainty about cash inflow on account of purchases and other obligations. To protect itself against such uncertainties a firm may require some cash balance.
 
3.   Speculative motive

Firms would like to tap profit making opportunities arising from fluctuations in commodity prices, securing prices, & interest rates. Cash-rich firms is better prepared to exploit such bargains may carry additional equity. However for most firms their reserve borrowing capacity & marketable securities would suffice to meet their speculative needs.

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