Financial considerations of South African companies making capital investments abroad : a theoretical and empirical study

Conrad, Adeeb (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-03)

Thesis (MComm (Business Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The increase in globalisation and integration of world financial markets has seen a significant enhancement in the amount in foreign investments. This coupled with the downfall of the apartheid regime has given rise to an opportunity for companies to diversify their investment and operational portfolios internationally. Furthermore world foreign direct investment has reached a high during recent years. This indicates that companies are undertaking more opportunities to invest internationally. This study was undertaken from the perspective of South African companies who may be considering to invest abroad. This is due to the fact that a clear research gap regarding their perspective has been found. The gap was found because most studies chose to focus on countries such as the United States of America, China and Japan, while none focused on the point of view of South African companies to the best of the available knowledge. The second factor was that studies did not only focus on the financial considerations, but instead included social and political factors. This study, due to the research gap found, chose to focus on the financial considerations of South African companies when considering making capital investments abroad. The top 50 companies in South Africa were chosen according to the Financial Mail’s Top Companies issue. It was decided that 30 of these companies would be sufficient as the research sample for the study. A questionnaire was drawn up and used as an aide memoire in personal interviews with these executives of the relevant companies. This allowed an opportunity to explore their perceptions and opinions regarding the factors that were selected as important from the literature study. In addition to this the executives provided company information that would be used in the sensitivity analysis. It was found that there are a number of company- and country-specific factors that need be contemplated when considering capital investments abroad. The company-specific factors include the profitability, cash flow, liquidity, solvency and future long-term growth characteristics of the prospective investment opportunity. This should be done in comparison with the host country to ensure that it will be worthwhile to increase the company’s risk factors. The country-specific factors include any restrictions placed on the cross-border movement of capital, the taxation legislation, and the availability of reliable information regarding the foreign market. The availability of foreign financing, availability of foreign exchange hedging instruments, investment incentives and the availability of labour and capital in order to apply the correct operating leverages are also important. The company-specific and country-specific factors need be considered in conjunction with each other. Furthermore all factors need be compared between the home and host countries in order to ascertain whether the advantages of entering into the foreign market are large enough.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die toename in globalisering en integrasie van finansiele markte in die wêreld het ‘n beduidende toename in die hoeveelheid buitelandse investerings na vore gebring. Tesame met die ondergang van apartheid het dit geleenthede aan maatskappye gebied om hul investerings en operasionele portefeuljes internasionaal te diversifeer. Verder het globale buitelandse direkte investering ‘n hoogtepunt in die onlangse jare bereik. Dit toon dat maatskappye meer geleenthede onderneem om internasionaal te investeer. Die studie was onderneem vanuit die perspektief van Suid-Afrikaanse maatskappye wat dit moontlik oorweeg om in die buiteland te investeer. ‘n Duidelike navorsingsgaping is gevind op grond van die verskille tussen die maatskappye se perspektiewe. Die gaping het ontstaan aangesien meeste studies gefokus het op lande soos die Verenigde State van Amerika, China en Japan, met so ver bekend geen studie wat fokus vanuit Suid-Afrikaanse maatskappye se perspektief nie. Die tweede faktor was dat die studies nie slegs op finansiele inagnemings gefokus het nie, maar ook sosiale en politieke faktore ingesluit het. As gevolg van die navorsingsgaping wat gevind is, fokus hierdie studie op die finansiele oorgewings vir Suid- Afrikaanse maatskappye wanneer hulle kapitaalinvesterings in die buiteland oorweeg. Die 50 top maatskapye in Suid-Afrika was gekies volgens die “Financial Mail” se uitgawe van vooraanstaande maatskappye. Daar is besluit dat 30 van hierdie maatskappye ‘n voldoende navorsingsteekproef vir die studie sal wees. ‘n Vraelys was saamgestel om as hulpmiddel te dien vir die persoonlike onderhoude wat met die senior bestuurders gevoer is. Dit het die geleentheid geskep om hul perspektiewe en opinies rakende die belangrike faktore wat uit die literatuurstudie geidentifiseer is, te verken. Die uitvoerende beamptes het ook maatskappy-inligting verskaf wat in die sensitiwiteitsanalise gebruik sou word. Daar was gevind dat ‘n aantal maatskappy- en land-spesifieke faktore bestaan waaroor besin moet word wanneer buitelandse kapitaalinvesterings oorweeg word. Die maatskappy-spesifieke faktore sluit in winsgewendheid, kontantvloei, likiditeit, solvabiliteit en toekomstige langtermyn groei-eienskappe van die voornemende investeringsgeleentheid. Dit moet gedoen word in vergelyking met die land waarin geinvesteer gaan word on te verseker dat dit die moeite werd sal wees om die maatskappy se risikofaktore te verhoog. Die land-spesifieke faktore sluit in enige beperkings wat geplaas word op die beweging van kapitaal oor grense, die belasting-wetgewing, en die beskikbaarheid van betroubare inligting rakende die buitelandse mark. Die beskikbaarheid van buitelandse finansiering, beskikbaarheid van verskansingsinstrumente vir buitelandse valuta, investeringsaansporingsmaatreels en die beskikbaarheid van arbeid en kapitaal om die korrekte bedryfshefboomwerking toe te pas is ook belangrik. Die maatskappy-spesifieke en landspesifieke faktore moet gesamentlik oorweeg word. Verder moet alle faktore tussen die tuisland en die land waarin geinvesteer gaan word, vergelyk word om vas te stel of dit voordelig sal wees om die buitelandse mark te betree.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6625
This item appears in the following collections: