Program Curriculum

Students are required to complete a total of 30 credits (15 courses) of coursework in order to graduate, including 12 credits from core courses (6 courses), 8 credits from required courses (4 courses) and 10 credits from elective courses (5 courses). Each course carries 2 credits.

General Core Courses

ACCT 5150 Accounting Foundations (2 credits)

Introduction to accounting concepts, preparation and interpretation of financial statements.

FINA 5120 Corporate Finance (2 credits)

Valuation of cash flow streams (PV of cash flow streams, annuities, and perpetuities); valuation of bonds; valuation of stocks using dividend discount model; capital budgeting decisions (NPV, IRR, payback); capital structure; limits to the use of debt (trade-off models); estimation of cost of debt and equity; WACC; terminal value.

FINA 5210 Investment Analysis (2 credits)

An introduction to fundamental concepts in investment analysis. The first part covers risk and return tradeoff, portfolio diversification, and modern portfolio theory including the capital asset pricing model and arbitrage pricing theory. The second part covers basic analytical tools used in analyzing fixed income securities. Topics include interest rates and yield curve mathematics, duration and convexity.

FINA 5240 FinTech Analytics (2 credits)

The course will be based on the open-source Python language which provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques, and is well-suited for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display. The first part of the course will be for general introduction to Python, and then use of specific tools like matrix manipulation, optimization, random numbers and simulation, etc. will be illustrated with financial applications. A required prerequisite is some familiarity and prior experience with a proper programming language, beyond standard Excel.

FINA 5250 Empirical Methods in Finance (2 credits)

This course studies the techniques of empirical investigation in finance. Students are introduced to recent empirical findings based on asset pricing and corporate finance models. The course includes a selection of the following econometrics topics: descriptive statistics, multivariate regression; Fama-MacBeth two-pass methodology; hypothesis testing; omitted variables and misspecification; instrumental variables for non-exogenous variables; introductory time series models; and generalized methods of moments (GMM) estimation. Students will apply the techniques to study the predictability of asset returns, tests of market efficiency, and other asset pricing models. This course will highlight the effect on the economic interpretations and statistical tests from: time-varying risk and return, auto-correlated and cross-correlated financial data, issues of endogeneity and data-snooping, event study methodology, tests of linear factor models using portfolios vs individual assets. The data analyses are carried out in a programming language, which facilitates subsequent fintech courses.

FINA 5290 Derivatives Analysis (2 credits)

Basic characteristics of derivatives instruments such as forwards, futures, options, and swaps. Topics include pricing of futures and forward contracts, forward-spot basis risk, option strategies, put-call parity and introduction to the Black-Scholes model. The development and use of interest rate and currency swaps are also discussed.

 

Required Courses

FINA 5140 Advanced Topics in Financial Management (For MScFA students only) (2 credits)

Valuation of projects (advanced capital budgeting); estimating cost of capital; risk assessment of projects; decision tree analysis; real option valuation of projects; warrants and convertibles; leasing; dividend policy.

FINA 5220 Equity Investment Management (2 credits) #

The course covers the complete investment process from constructing investment objectives and policies to broad class asset allocation, monitoring, and performance measurement and attribution. Practical issues relating to investment style, active and passive management and stock market inefficiency will be discussed. Advanced techniques in portfolio construction such as the Black-Litterman model, single index and multi-factor are studied.

FINA 5300 Advanced Derivatives Analysis (2 credits)

Advanced techniques in option pricing and derivatives risk management. Topics include the binomial model, risk-neutral valuation, extension of the Black-Scholes pricing model and option Greeks. The course will also include discussion and analysis of options on futures, interest rate options such as caps and floors, and some popular OTC projects such as equity linked notes and principal guaranteed funds.

FINA 5360 Fixed Income Analysis (2 credits)

Includes techniques in fixed-income portfolio management and introduction of fixed-income derivatives. Topics include term-structure theories, yield-curve fitting techniques and yield curve trading strategies, portfolio performance evaluation, floating rate securities, forward rate agreements, bond and interest rate futures, and interest rate swaps.

FINA 5840 Financial Modeling (2 credits) #

This is a course about financial modeling. The goal is to make financial models that produce useful answers to economic questions. Selected topics which lend themselves to financial modeling will be covered, such as (but not limited to) loan amortization schedules; valuation and private equity; equity derivatives; mutual fund performance and style analysis; fixed income derivatives, and optimal portfolio selection.

 

Elective Courses

FINA 5150 Corporate Risk Management (2 credits) *RM/CF

Practical and theoretical issues in risk management from the corporate end-user's perspective; benefits and optimal strategies of risk management; current cases which have been debated in the media.

FINA 5230 Sustainable Investing (2 credits) *AM/RM/CF/SA

This course puts together a collection of industry cases, projects and academic papers on Sustainable Investing, also known as ESG Investing. It is an investment approach that integrates three additional factors - environment (E), social (S) and governance (G), into security analysis and portfolio allocation. As the industry successfully adopts these factors into their double bottom line financial analysis, only a handful of courses - such as this one - would tackle the subject. This course will discuss the market terminology, practices, usages and dollar impact of ESG factors. The main focus is on the identification, measurement and the materiality of ESG indicators. The students will learn that financial analysis with ESG integration provides the basis for a more informed investment decision. Discussion on existing academic papers will shed light on the cost and benefits of sustainable investing. This course will empower the students with cutting edge information, tools and solid research on the subject.

FINA 5340 Financial Markets in China (2 credits) *AM/CF

The course is an overview of China’s financial markets and their latest development, especially the concern over the slowdown of the China economy and its impacts on the financial markets.  The difficulties in building financial markets that compatible with the size of its economy are explored and various strategies to reform China’s financial system are analyzed, for example the establishment of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trading Zone, Qianhai Pilot Economy Zoe, and the Internet Finance.

FINA 5350 Strategic Finance and Value Creation (2 credits) *CF/SA

Key valuation techniques including discounted cash flow approach and valuation by multiples. Understanding of how firms manage and create value through restructuring assets, liabilities and organizational design.

FINA 5390 Venture Capital and Private Equity (2 credits) *AM/FT/CF

Topics include: (1) An overview of the venture capital and private equity markets in Asia; (2) Deal structuring; (3) Valuation techniques; (4) Due diligence and postinvestment management; (5) Understanding the terms in term sheets; (6) Negotiating term sheets; (7) Going public, trade sale and other exit strategies. Real-world examples from throughout Asia will be used to illustrate these topics.

FINA 5410 FinTech: Algorithm Trading (2 credits) *AM/FT

The course is designed to provide students with an overview of how supply equals demand in real-world financial markets. After taking this course, students would be able to appreciate the frictions existing in actual financial markets – bid-ask spreads, trade impact on price, brokerage commissions, quantity limitations, time delays, market manipulation, etc. - and be able to devise algorithmic trading strategies that minimize these frictions.

FINA 5450 Hedge Funds (2 credits) *AM/FT/RM

Alternative investments are the fastest growing sector of the financial industry, and probably the least understood, including by several market professionals. Although the range of sophistication in people associated with alternative investments varies substantially, it is more and more common to use them in investment strategies, either as direct investments or through funds of funds or structured products. The purpose of this course is to give participants a good understanding and workable knowledge of the techniques that should be part of the tool kit of anyone investing in, analyzing and/or advising private and institutional clients on the inclusion of alternative investments - and more specifically hedge funds - in their portfolios. Furthermore, this course will enable the participants to absorb the analytical arguments in the technical publications - the in-house research notes of financial institutions and in practitioner oriented journal - that deal with alternative investments and to apply them.

FINA 5470 Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring (2 credits) *AM/RM/CF/SA

Focuses on the design, analysis, and implementation of financial strategies aimed at repositioning and revitalizing companies. Corporate value creation by restructuring a company or by undergoing a business combination.

FINA 5870 Big Data in Finance (2 credits) *AM/FT/RM

This course introduces students to the concepts of big data and machine learning with a special focus on how these tools can be applied in a financial context. During the course students will learn Python and how it can be used to build and estimate some of the most commonly used machine learning models such as regression, clustering and classification. Students will also learn the basics of cloud computing and how the cloud can be employed to quickly estimate complex models with very large data sets.

FINA 6900L Portfolio Management with FinTech Applications (2 credits) *AM/FT/RM

This course will focus on artificial intelligence and deep learning and their applications in finance. There will be a strong emphasis on applications, the course instructor will discuss the portfolio management, optimization for instrument buckets, cases such as Bridgewater Associate and Renaissance as well as Long-Term Capital Management.  This course seeks to provide the tools for students to become a future fund manager.    

FINA 6900S Real Estate Financing (2 credits) *AM/RM/CF/SA

This course focuses on how real estate financing is undertaken and the key considerations for the borrower and the lender. This is achieved through a master case study which runs through the duration of the course and evolves as different aspects of real estate financing are discussed. The course will focus on the key steps in a transaction life-cycle and require participants to prepare basic cashflow models, approval memos and termsheets including presenting them. Some additional case studies around hedging will cover specific considerations around cross border real estate investments which is a big focus for global real estate investors.

 

# MScFA students can choose 1 of the two required courses to fulfil the requirement

* Concentrations for Investment Management:
AM: Asset Management
FT: FinTech
RM: Risk Management
Concentrations for Financial Analysis:
CF: Corporate Finance
SA: Security Analysis