China is a manufacturing superpower. Assume that you are CFO of an automobile manufacturer looking to build a US$ 800 million plant in China. You are discussing this project with your spouse, who is intelligent, but has no background in finance.
1. Your discussion should begin with a clear and logical step-by-step explanation of the theory behind the concept of "required return" on proposed capital investments. Explain how cost of equity, cost of debt, WACC, and allowances for various risk factors are involved in determining the "required return" on proposed international capital investments. Please write at least one paragraph for each step in the WACC process.
2. Discuss each single one of the main risk factors that should be allowed for (in addition to WACC) in order to determine the appropriate required return on this capital investment opportunity. Update for changes in government and policy in the past 12 months. Do these changes increase or decrease risk? Is the overall risk for each element low, medium, or high?
3. Make a reasonable estimate of the required return, starting with a 12% weighted average cost of capital for the U.S. auto manufacturer, and adding reasonable estimated percentages for each of the separate risk elements you can foresee. Write a paragraph for each risk factor, justifying your choice of the numerical addition to risk.