The concept of a company's cost of capital is used in capital budgeting as a potential basic discount rate to be applied to expected future cash flows from a proposed investment project being subjected to evaluation for acceptance or rejection. Discounted‐cash‐flow capital budgeting techniques derive from valuation theory that determines present value of expected future cash flows by discounting them down to the present at a discount rate appropriate to the degree of risk involved. Conceptually, this is true with regard to both domestic investment and foreign direct investment. However, there is recognition in the literature that capital budgeting for foreign direct investment decisions may involve complexities not present in the domestic case. These include economic, financial, and political factors, and related risks, e.g., foreign exchange risk, blocked currencies, expropriation. On the other hand, foreign direct investment is thought to provide diversification benefits, so that risks that are not domestically diversifiable are internationally diversifiable, thereby eliminating some otherwise systematic risk. Complexities such as these place a considerable burden upon the concept of cost of capital as a discount rate appropriately reflective of the degree of risk involved in a foreign direct investment project. Furthermore, cost of capital may be affected by environmental factors associated with what country the parent corporation calls “home” (Stonehill and Dullum).
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