The historically low interest rates in the current economic climate would appear to provide an ideal scenario for companies to invest long term in value-creating capital expenditures. However, the combination of declining corporate profitability together with significant ongoing difficulties in raising external finance continues to exert downward pressure upon the funds available for investment. Almost daily, corporate announcements include a statement regarding an intention to significantly reduce capital expenditure (hereafter capex) during the upcoming financial year. The following sample of recent financial disclosures from the automobile, telecommunication, and mining sectors are indicative of the current trend:

Toyota Motor ...

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