This course provides students with the foundations to understand the key concepts and tools used in Finance. It offers a broad overview of the financial environment under which firms operate and equips students with the conceptual and analytical skills necessary to make sound financial decisions for the firm.
FIN3101 Corporate Finance
This course aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of Corporate Finance. Students will be exposed to key financial issues faced by modern-day finance managers of corporations. The course will also equip students with conceptual and analytical skills necessary to make sound financial decisions. Cases and practical examples will be used to illustrate the concepts taught in lectures.
FIN3102 Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
The objective of this course is to develop key concepts in investment theory from the perspective of a portfolio manager, and to apply such concepts using real financial data. Topics to be covered include portfolio optimisation and asset pricing theories, as well as their applications to problems in modern financial practice. This course also explores the application of various financial instruments in investment management and introduces the basic techniques of portfolio performance evaluation.
The course content consists of a mix of descriptive material, theoretical models, model application, and group projects. We shall cover fundamental analysis and security valuation on stocks, bonds, options and futures, as well as modern portfolio management. On completion, students should be conversant in investment management in preparation for careers in financial analysis and financial planning, investment banking, and corporate finance.
FIN3103 Financial Markets
The objective of this course is to give students a general understanding of the different financial markets and institutions in the context of both the U.S. and Singapore. The financial assets traded in these markets, the financial services and instruments these institutions offer, and the mechanisms and characteristics influencing the value of these assets and instruments will also be discussed.
FIN 3115 International Financial Management
We have one overarching objective in this course: to master the general framework of international finance; a framework that highlights the fundamentals. One of my duties as the “prof” is to lay the groundwork for you to be an active learner of international finance. I prefer to couch the concepts of the course in terms of your questions. Given the foundation, you should eventually develop your own questions about international finance. There is no doubt that you will develop a solid competence in the advanced concepts and techniques if you develop your own questions.
In this course, we will place our emphasis on the international financial system, international investments, and international financial management, particularly in Asia. This course is especially helpful for a student pursuing a career in international banking, global asset management, or international corporate finance. Our course begins with a thorough analysis of international business risks and the structure of the international monetary system. We will then cover the following topics: the foreign exchange market; exchange-rate determination; international investments; currency and rate risk management; international capital budgeting; international political risk and corporate governance in Asia; and international banking and liquid asset management.
FIN3116 Options and Futures
The objective of this course is to provide an in-depth analysis of financial derivative products: futures, swaps, and options. The analysis includes their valuation, trading strategies, and risk management. It should provide lasting conceptual framework in which to view the derivative markets and to examine new ideas, concepts, and instruments as they evolve in the future.
This course covers a great deal of advanced material. Students are expected to be comfortable with probability and statistics, the stock market, and a spreadsheet package such as Excel. Some use of stochastic calculus and differential equation will also be required.
After completing the course, you should be able to:
1. Understand how financial derivatives are used by market participants,
2. Understand how financial derivative values are calculated,
3. Appreciate the pros and cons of the most widely used derivative pricing models,
4. Identify mis-pricing in the derivative markets, and
5. Understand practical considerations in constructing portfolios involving financial derivatives.
FIN3117 Bank Management
Banking is a part of financial services but as a business, it is not quite the same as running a bank. With the systematic development of a knowledge base, there is now a greater understanding of why banks exist and how they have to fight for the right to exist. There is also a realisation that the different economic value components of a bank can be substituted by niche financial services firms. Aside from the business aspect, regulatory, risk and capital management have attracted special attention as they have been in the past. This course aims to cover both the business and operational aspects of banking incorporating current industry conditions.
FIN3118 Financial Risk Management
This course provides an introduction to the measurement, analysis and management of risk in financial institutions. A full appreciation of the techniques applied in risk management would require a level of mathematical sophistication beyond the scope of this course. Hence, the course has been structured to focus on the intuition behind the techniques used in risk management, and the strengths and weaknesses of each technique. At the end of the course, students should be able to develop a conceptual framework for thinking about risk management.
FIN3119 Risk and Insurance
Business entities and individuals are exposed to substantial risk associated with losses to property, income, and wealth because of damage to assets, legal liability, disability, retirement, and death. Costs associated with legal liability and employee benefit programs, particularly Central Provident Fund (CPF) and health care, have become matters of deep concern to company management. Individuals seeking coverage of their professional and personal risks have similar concerns. This survey course analyses the nature and impact of these risks and discusses appropriate risk management techniques. The emphasis is on the analysis and management of these problems for business entities, but these are substantial implications for the problems faced by individuals and society. Specific topics include risk identification and measurement; risk control and transfer, risk financing with commercial insurance, self-insurance, and captive insurance programs; insurance markets and regulation; employee benefits and CPF; life and health insurance; personal financial planning; international risk management and insurance for multi-national corporations.
This course will introduce Singapore experiences in solving problems related to Medicare, Housing, aging population and retirement, transportation, and using effective tax system to encourage people to work harder as well as to help the poor.
FIN3120C China’s Capital Markets
This is an introductory course on China’s Capital Markets that examines China’s Listed Equity, Private Equity, Bond and Derivative markets from a development perspective and its convergence towards international standards. The course will use a combination of cases, professional and academic articles to provide an understanding of the concepts, issues and investors involved in China’s Capital Markets. An underlying theme of this course is how China’s Capital Markets have developed and improved, despite the grievances and misgivings widely espoused by the investment community.
This course is essential for those persons seeking to gain an insight of China’s Capital Markets. The significance of China’s Capital Markets should not be underestimated given its rapid development and the internationalisation of the Renminbi.
FIN3120E Physical Commodity Markets and Assets
This course aims to provide students with an overview of the commodity markets. We will introduce commodities as an asset class and present key concepts for commodity trading and investing businesses. We will focus on physical trading and investing in real assets as opposed to trading commodities in the financial markets/on screens. You will find it useful to have some basic knowledge of accounting, algebra, statistics, finance and risk management prior to enrolling in this course.
FIN3130 Financial Modelling
With the increasing sophistication in financial models, and the advance in IT, finance professionals and researchers increasingly need to perform basic financial modelling and data processing using the computer on their own. Among the software used for such purposes, Microsoft Excel stands out as the default standard. Some finance professionals, for instance from investing banking, would go to the extent of recognising Microsoft Excel as the single software that they would have to consistently use for the rest of their career. Therefore it is not only crucial to learn how to implement financial models in the computer, but especially using the advanced tools and VBA in Excel as well. This subject complements and enhances the other finance modules currently offered in the following ways:
1) Concretises the theoretical finance theories into implementable methods. This enhances the practical ability of the finance students.
2) Prepares the students for financial modelling work, including model design, sourcing for data, model programming and debugging.
3) Discusses the concept of efficiency and effectiveness when implementing financial models. This would be the only module that discusses such important perspective.
FIN3131 Fixed Income Securities
This module focuses on the valuation of fixed income securities, such as bonds, bond derivatives, interest rate derivatives, interest rate swaps, mortgages, and asset-backed securities. We will focus mainly on the valuation of these instruments and on interest rate risk. We may also discuss issues related to credit risk.
FIN4111 Research Methods in Finance
With the increasing sophistication in financial instrument and practices, it is important to learn the scientific way to establish new finance theories. Some practitioners base their theories on situational and non-objective evidence that led to mis-priced models and error-prone applications. Their theories may seem to work perfectly for a certain period of time, but proves to be false beyond the period of mere coincidence. When the theories no longer work, they may lead to losses for the company or bank, and they may even trigger an economy wide crisis.
It is therefore important to learn how to adequately verify a new finance theory. Empirical data need to be obtained and treated in the correct way, and the appropriate statistical analysis be conducted accurately. Objective and justified inference and deductions can then be obtained from the research. Such scientific methodology is no longer necessary only for academic research, but necessary for industry professionals in the area of regulation, setting fiscal and monetary policies, risk management, portfolio optimisation and even corporate finance.
FIN4112G Private Equity
This course aims to prepare and equip students with the necessary knowledge and fundamental skills to take on roles at an analyst level in a Venture Capital/Private Equity firm. It will cover the What, Why, When and How of the VC/PE process, giving students the knowhow to identify an investment opportunity, evaluate and assess it, conduct due diligence, perform valuation and financial assessment, monitor and value-add to the investment and finally develop an exit strategy.
The course will be organised as a series of topics combining interactive lectures, discussions with group projects and case analyses. Students are expected to read ahead of lectures and be prepared to discuss topics relevant to the Cases. Students are required to think independently and also work in groups both on Case Studies and Group Projects using real life cases.
FIN4112H Investment Banking
This is a course on investment banking designed to introduce students to the world of investment banks. The course will help students to understand the various business activities investment banks typically undertake and the various financial instruments created and used by investment banks. The global environment, challenges, and opportunities relevant to investment banking will also be covered.
Investment banks had played a pivotal role in the some of the recent crises, including the sub-prime crisis which led to the Great Recession. Investment banking products and activities are highly integrated with various other financial markets and institutions in such a way that any lapse in the investment banking industry may create ripple effects that are far reaching and with multiplied intensity. As a result, the business and regulatory landscape for investment banks are undergoing major changes. Hence, such a study is indeed timely.
Classes will be conducted in a more participative style. Lectures will cover the basic knowledge and extended learning will include term projects and cases discussions.
FIN4112K Applied Portfolio Management
This advanced Seminar in Finance module will serve as a comprehensive real world examination of the quantitative techniques available and how these might be applied to portfolio management in the investment management industry. Major topics covered include exploring various quantitative tools and models for Estimating Expected Returns, Modelling Risks, Portfolio Construction & Management, Style Analysis & Bench-marking, and Strategic & Tactical Asset Allocation. Lectures will involve frequent interaction with practitioners from the industry, hands-on lab projects, and real-life examples. Students would be expected to be active in class participation developing financial model building blocks using Excel in the first instance, as well as subsequently utilising the other tools available in the Center for Asset Management research and Investments (“CAMRI”) Lab. This course is suitable for students interested in a career as an investment analyst or as a portfolio manager in the financial services sector.
FIN4112L Corporate Governance & Financial Policy
Family firms form backbone of Asia and world economies. Family businesses are commonly thought to be small, unprofessional; and in most cases seldom survive three generations. There are, however, a number of success stories, for example, Hermes, Toyota, Merck, and Ford Motors. These firms are large, publicly traded, and controlled by the founding family for several generations. How do these families manage to grow their business internationally and perpetual their wealth for multiple generations? Why do most family firms not survive?
We analyse the family business model that highlights the role of the founding family in the firm. Many family members own ownership stakes and hold top positions at the firm. The family, therefore, has immense influence on corporate financial decisions. This can be harmful to the firm’s value if the family chose corporate policies to please the family. We discuss how the family can put constraints on the firms on top of various roadblocks faced by the firm.
FIN4113 Personal Finance and Private Wealth Management
Sound knowledge of personal financial planning is an important life skill. Wealth accumulation and protection is also a valued financial goal of many individuals and families. This course aims to equip individuals with skills to manage their personal finances and private wealth. As the course covers many current topics in wealth management, it will also benefit students aspiring to enter the financial planning and wealth management industry.
The course places strong emphasis on applying sound concepts and analytical tools to all aspects of financial planning. Case studies will be used to illustrate proper application of these financial tools as well as common pitfalls. Cases will also be used to illustrate the implications of government regulations, financial market innovations and market cycles on personal financial planning.
The course is divided into two parts, with first part focusing on basic building blocks of personal financial management and the second part on wealth management and asset protection. Topics covered in the first part include overview of financial markets in Singapore, the Central Provident Fund, key steps in financial planning, financial planning tools, managing liquidity, managing credit, buying a residential property, insurance and estate planning.
Topics covered in the wealth management segment of the course includes principles of asset allocation, fixed income analytics and strategies, the role of equities in wealth accumulation, mutual funds and exchange traded funds, and investing in Alternative Investments” such as hedge funds and structured fixed income and equity linked products.
FIN4117 Measuring Success in Philanthropy and Impact Investing
Philanthropy is evolving dramatically given supply of new philanthropic monies seeking greater impact. Motivated out of a love for mankind, improving the human condition remains a key objective. However, the act of philanthropy, its orientation, methods and approaches are realigning in ways that treat the giving of private wealth not simply as gifts but as investments with expected returns. As such, the “new” philanthropy borrows ideas, practices, technologies and vocabulary from the world of finance and private equity, to articulate its purpose and operational design. It emphasises impact and efficiency, and frames impact investing as a specific form of philanthropy, one that, at its core, involves leveraging and aggregating diverse resources to generate a blend of measurable social and financial returns consistent with the interests of the parties involved.
The past decade has seen an increasing interest in investments in hybrid organisations with double or triple bottom-lines. This conversation has just arrived in Singapore and Asia in the last couple of years. There is growing interest from all stakeholders to better understand investing in the intersection of financial, social and environmental dimensions.
Having an impact simply means making a difference. To identify and properly measure the difference, one needs to identify the counterfactual - what it would be without one’s intervention. How does an investor achieve impact? We explore this question using a framework that (1) requires that the investee enterprise itself has net positive impact, and (2) the investor’s financial and non-financial contribution increases beyond that enterprise impact.
As the venture philanthropic and impact investing practices are emergent and adaptive from the private equity sector, this course also draws discussion from venture capital and growth investing respectively. An underlying theme of this part of the course is to emphasise how venture philanthropic and impact investing can create social capital which promotes sustainable economic growth.
A sound knowledge of philanthropy and impact investing is therefore essential for the following participants in the intersection of social capital, private capital and public markets: private bankers, philanthropy advisors, family offices, foundations, venture philanthropists, impact and private equity investors, corporates developing a strategic CSR program, policy makers and government agencies.
FIN4118 Equity Research
This course introduces students to the top down approach of portfolio management and how portfolios with multiple countries can be constructed in addition to high-lighting the skills needed for stock selection using fundamental research and how these qualitative skills are applied to portfolio management in the investment industry through a series of company research report writing and portfolio positioning and construction.
The objective of this course is to provide a practical framework for students to understand how to construct regional portfolios using a top-down macroeconomic approach and how to incorporate the fundamental stock research from the students’ stock research reports into constructing a portfolio.
The course seeks to prepare students for an investment management career by providing an understanding of what goes on in the minds of investors when they put capital to work. Student will learn the importance of understanding business models and how business create values. They will also learn how portfolios are constructed from stocks they have analysed.