Program Curriculum

The MFin program commences in September every year with orientation starts in mid-August. Full-time students can complete all of the course requirements in two semesters (12 months), and part-time students can complete the program in four semesters (24 months) for a total of 30 credits.  

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits (15 courses) of coursework to graduate, including 10 credits of core courses (5 courses), 10 credits of required courses (5 courses), and 10 credits of elective courses (5 courses). Students may choose to declare ONE concentration by taking the specified required courses or graduate without electing a concentration by taking any five courses from the list of required courses given below.

In addition to the five elective courses in the MFin program, students are also allowed to choose elective courses from outside the Department of Finance, subject to the approval of the Academic Director.

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Core Courses (10 credits)

FINA 5120 Corporate Finance (2 credits) *AM/RM

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

FINA 5210 Investment Analysis (2 credits)

An introduction to the fundamental concepts of investment analysis. The first part covers risk and return trade-off, 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. The topics include interest rates and yield curve mathematics, duration and convexity.

FINA 5250 Empirical Methods in Finance (2 credits)

This course covers 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 apply these 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 the pricing of futures and forward contracts, forward-spot basis risk, option strategies, put-call parity, and an introduction to the Black-Scholes model. The development and use of interest rates and currency swaps are also discussed.

FINA 5360 Fixed Income Analysis (2 credits)

Includes techniques in fixed-income portfolio management and the 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.

Required Courses (10 credits for each concentration)

ACCT 5150 Accounting Foundations (2 credits) *SA/CF

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

FINA 5140 Advanced Topics in Financial Management (2 credits) *SA/CF

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

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

FINA 5220 Equity Investment Management (2 credits) *AM/RM

The course covers the complete investment process including constructing investment objectives, outlining investment policies, choosing asset allocations, monitoring investments, and measuring performance. Practical issues relating to investment style, active management, and passive management are discussed. Advanced techniques in portfolio construction such as the Black-Litterman model and multi-factor models are covered.

FINA 5240 FinTech Analytics (2 credits) *FT

The course is based on the open-source Python language that provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques, and is well-suited for data manipulation, calculation, and graphical display. The remainder of the course covers a general introduction to Python, and then illustrates the use of specific tools such as matrix manipulation, optimization, random numbers and simulation, etc. with financial applications.

FINA 5300 Advanced Derivatives Analysis (2 credits) *AM/RM

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 5370 Equity Valuation (2 credits) *AM/SA

Basic valuation approaches including dividend discount model, free cash flows model, and valuation by multiples; measures of company performance and value added; valuation in special situations such as emerging markets, closely held companies, mergers, and divestitures.

FINA 5390 Venture Capital and Private Equity (2 credits) *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 post-investment 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: Algorithmic Trading (2 credits) *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

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 & Restructuring *CF

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 5620 Foreign Exchange Market (2 credits) *RM

The course covers foreign exchange cash and derivatives markets and instruments - spot, outright forwards, swaps, and futures. It also addresses arbitrage in currency and capital markets, and international parity conditions, dealings with forex risk in corporate finance and efficient portfolio construction, and creating and back-testing foreign exchange forecasting models.

FINA 5670 Wealth Management (2 credits) *AM

With an introduction to the principles of wealth management and the financial planning process, this course progresses to cover various wealth management topics including consumption planning, investment planning and retirement planning. In particular, this course emphasizes on the provision of investment advisory services. It discusses client expectations and concerns including risk and other cognitive issues before applying the concepts and techniques to construct and manage investment portfolios for individual clients.

FINA 5830 Statistical Methods for Risk Management (2 credits) *RM

This course introduces several risk management models designed to allow risk managers of financial institutions to measure and manage various sources of financial risk including market risk, interest rate risk, and default risk, among others. Emphasis is on the development of 'hands-on' experience which includes the calibration of models and discussion of the data issues faced in the application of these models. This course is intended for all students considering a career in quantitative risk management, whether in the insurance, banking, or non-financial sector.

FINA 5840 Financial Modeling (2 credits) *FT/SA

This is a course about financial modeling. The goal is to make financial models that provide useful answers to questions concerning the economy. Selected topics that lend themselves to financial modeling are 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.

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

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 6910A FinTech: The Future of the Financial Industry (2 credits) *FT

This is an introductory course to Financial Technology (FinTech) which includes Insurance Technology (InsurTech) and Regulation Technology (RegTech). The student will have an overall understanding of the underlying information technology being applied in various innovative business models to disrupt the finance and banking landscape globally. The critical business, social/ethical, legal and technology issues and the related risks faced by corporate executives when analyzing, designing, launching and managing FinTech projects to drive business innovations will be discussed in class. Live demos will be conducted to illustrate the proof-of-concept and their applications in real-world scenarios. Key industry developments and the impact on stakeholders will be examined.

Sample List of Elective Courses (10 credits)

FINA 5130 Corporate Governance (2 credits)

The course on corporate governance examines how corporations induce their managers to maximize shareholder value through incentives and monitoring institutions. This course analyzes how good corporate governance can mitigate incentives and information problems, nurture great leaders, and foster great companies.

FINA 5230 ESG Investing (2 credits)

This course puts together a collection of industry cases, projects and academic papers on Sustainable Investing, also known as ESG investing, which is an investment approach that integrates three additional factors environment (E), social (S) and governance (G), into security analysis and portfolio allocation. Students learn that financial analysis with ESG integration provides the basis for more informed investment decisions.

FINA 5560 Structured Products and Exotic Options (2 credits)

This course provides students with a basic understanding of commonly traded financial derivatives and bonds instruments in financial markets. Detailed explanations on hedging, pricing and risk management methodologies are included. Illustrative case studies of some real products are provided.

FINA 5590 Trading in Equity Markets (2 credits)

This course aims to give students an insight into finance in action while focusing on the equity market. Led by a market practitioner, it examines, amongst other things, how a trading floor works and the different forces and factors that lead to a market behaving in the way that it does. It focuses on enabling students to apply the knowledge that they have gained in other courses to practical situations and to be able to make a distinction between theory and practice. It also emphasizes the needs of market practitioners.

FINA 5600 Real Estate Financing (2 credits)

This course focuses on how real estate financing is undertaken and the key considerations for the borrower and the lender. It focuses on the key steps in a transaction life-cycle and requires participants to prepare basic cash-flow models, approval memos, and negotiate term-sheets. The course also includes additional case studies on hedging and considerations of cross-border real estate financings.

FINA 6910B Smart Applications of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) (2 credits)

This course covers the fundamental concept, design, and implementation of distributed ledgers and blockchains. The characteristics and properties, as well as misconceptions, of blockchains are discussed. In-depth study is conducted of Ethereum, Hyperledger, R3 Corda, Ripple, Quorum, and Stella, and their respective business and finance applications. Live demos and hands-on sessions are conducted to illustrate how DLT/Blockchain and smart contracts can disrupt the financial landscape and support innovative FinTech solutions.

FINA 6910D Advanced Venture Capital (VC) Investing (2 credits)

This course is a follow-up of the Venture Capital and Private Equity (VCPE) course, with a particular focus on early-stage venture companies. Students are able to experience and practice all of the content learned, particularly that related to VC endeavors in real-world VC settings. Students can “invest” alongside VC practitioners as well as be guided by investing, accounting, and legal professionals on various topics such as screening prospective investee companies in a live pitch session and drafting and compiling due diligence lists, term sheets, the required closing documentations, and valuation assessments with respective professionals, in addition to presenting early-read memos to industry professionals for deal approvals, among other topics.

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

The above elective courses are subject to change at the discretion of the MSc Programs Office.