This report deals with
• The nature of capital investment appraisal
• The techniques available for evaluating capital investments
• The limitations of these techniques
• The capital budgeting practices in select countries
Some of the major responsibilities of top management are in the area of long range planning. Allocating resources to competing uses is one of the most important decisions a manager has to make. Executives are constantly faced with such questions as:
Which projects should a firm accept?
How should the productivity of capital be measured?
Should the company take care of investments that reduce costs or that maintain profits or that add to profits?
What happens to the risk complexion and competitive position of the firm if the investment under consideration is accepted as opposed to not choosing it?
A typical capital budgeting decision involves commitment of large, initial cash outlay with the benefits spread out in time. The time to recoup initial investment could be long. This makes it imperative for the firm to carefully plan its investments to attain the corporate objectives. Capital Investments are typically irreversible in nature or costly to get out. Unwarranted investments can jeopardize the financial well being of the firm. Capital Budgeting deals with investment in real assets. A project requires a large, up front capital investment; generates cash flows for a specified period of time at the end of which the project can be liquidated. The liquidation value of assets at the end of the project life is called Salvage value. It should be noted that the term initial investment is a misnomer. The term is used even when the investment is spread over a number of years. It is indeed the case in many real life situations. A project is shown as a time line diagram below.
Time 0 1 2