Module ASB-4403:
Int'l Financial Markets

Module Facts

Run by Bangor Business School

15 Credits or 7.5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Owain ap Gwilym

Overall aims and purpose

To provide an introduction to finance theory, and its practical applications for investors, analysts and portfolio managers.

Course content

An overview of financial markets and instruments; Review of the concepts of risk and return; Portfolio theory and diversification; The capital asset pricing model; Other asset pricing models; Efficient markets, behavioural finance and anomalies; Hedging, speculation and arbitrage; Foreign exchange and derivative markets; Option characteristics and option pricing; Forwards and futures.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Displays a basic understanding of the main types of financial instrument and pricing models.

good

Displays a sound understanding of the main types of financial instrument and pricing models, and an ability to write analytically on specific issues.

excellent

Demonstrates a critical approach towards the appreciation of the main types of financial asset pricing models, and demonstrates the ability to evaluate the implications of pricing models, illustrating arguments through the use of relevant supporting evidence drawn from the established literature.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a good understanding of the pricing of the main financial assets traded in international financial markets.
  2. Apply finance theory to portfolio selection and asset pricing.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of the implications of finance theory for best practice in investment strategy and portfolio management.
  4. Demonstrate a good understanding of the derivative and foreign exchange markets, including the roles of hedging, speculation and arbitrage.
  5. Critically evaluate empirical evidence concerning the operation of international financial markets.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK 25
FINAL EXAM MARK 75

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
  One 2-hour lecture per week.  
  One 1-hour workshop per week.  
Lecture 20
Workshop 10

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills

  • knowledge of theories and empirical evidence concerning financial management, risk and the operation of capital markets (in cases of degrees with significant finance content).
  • Analysis, deduction and induction. Economic reasoning is highly deductive, and logical analysis is applied to assumption-based models. However, inductive reasoning is also important. The development of such analytical skills enhances students' problem-solving and decision-making ability.
  • Quantification and design. Data, and their effective organisation, presentation and analysis, are important in economics. The typical student will have some familiarity with the principal sources of economic information and data relevant to industry, commerce, society and government, and have had practice in organising it and presenting it informatively. This skill is important at all stages in the decision-making process.
  • An appreciation of the nature of the contexts in which finance can be seen as operating, including knowledge of the institutional framework necessary for understanding the role, operation and function of markets and financial institutions (e.g. the economic, legal, regulatory and tax environment, both national and international; the firm; the capital markets and the public sector).
  • A knowledge of the major theoretical tools and theories of finance, and their relevance and application to theoretical and practical problems (e.g. concept of arbitrage and examples of its use; financial mathematics and capital budgeting criteria; informational efficiency; optimal risk sharing; portfolio theory; asset pricing models and the valuation of securities; cost of capital; derivative pricing; risk management; information asymmetry; principal agency relationships; signalling; Fisher separation and capital budgeting criteria; behavioural finance; term structure and the movement of interest rates; determination of exchange rates and financial intermediation).
  • An ability to interpret financial data including that arising in the context of the firm or household from accounting statements and data generated in financial markets. The interpretation may involve analysis using statistical and financial functions and procedures such as are routinely available in spreadsheets (eg Microsoft Excel) and statistical packages. It may assume the skills necessary to manipulate financial data and carry out statistical and econometric tests (e.g. estimation and interpretation of asset pricing models; financial modelling and projections; event studies and residuals analysis; elements of time series analysis, such as serial correlation mean reversion, and stochastic volatility).
  • An understanding of the relationship between financial theory and empirical testing, and application of this knowledge to the appraisal of the empirical evidence in at least one major theoretical area. The appraisal should involve some recognition of the limitation and evolution of empirical tests and theory (eg the efficient markets hypothesis; anomalies; pricing of derivatives and other securities; bond portfolio management; exchange rates; raising capital and capital structure).
  • An understanding of the financing arrangements and governance structures of business entities, and an appreciation of how theory and evidence can be combined to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of such arrangements (e.g. decisions as to sources of finance and financial structure; the pricing of corporate securities; the market for corporate control; corporate governance structures and mechanisms; financial planning and international dimensions of finance).
  • An understanding of the factors influencing the investment behaviour and opportunities of private individuals (bonds, equities, and derivatives; risk aversion; risk/return trade-offs; portfolio management and performance measurement; pensions and long term savings; the tax treatment of savings and investments; international diversification; forex risk; objectives of and constraints on institutional investors and advisors).
  • An understanding of financial service activity in the economy, and an appreciation of how finance theory and evidence can be employed to interpret these services (for example, information asymmetry, adverse selection and moral hazard could be employed to analyse the fundamental nature of services, such as insurance, pensions, bank lending and consumer credit, and also explore fundamental problems arising in such financial service provision. Efficient market hypothesis could be used to explore evidence for fund manager performance and the effectiveness of equity and bond saving services).

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: