GRA 6544 Financial Strategy in a Global Economy

GRA 6544 Financial Strategy in a Global Economy

Course code: 
GRA 6544
Department: 
Finance
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Giovanni Pagliardi
Course name in Norwegian: 
Financial Strategy in a Global Economy
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Business - Finance
Semester: 
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

The overall goal of the course it to provide the participants with a sound understanding of financial decision-making in the multinational firm. However, whilst the course is presented from a managerial perspective and thus applied in nature, decision-making is approached using firmly established theories in economics and finance. The aim of the course is threefold: i) to study the laws that play a crucial role in the international economy and global financial markets; ii) to understand how firms can hedge exchange rate risk related to both their operations and strategic decisions; and iii) to study issues in corporate finance such as capital budgeting and capital structure from a domestic perpective, learning how to extend theories and methodologies to multinational corporations operating in a globalized economy.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The course can be broadly split into three parts. The first part of the course examines international financial markets and the determination of exchange rates. In the second part, we will consider the impact of exchange rates on the cash flows of firms. In particular, we will learn how to measure and manage (hedge) how different cash flows are exposed to unexpected changes in exchange rates. The third part of the course focuses on some traditional issues in corporate finance such as capital budgeting, cost of capital, and investments in physical assets, starting from a domestic perspective and then extending everything to an international setting.

Learning outcomes - Skills

During the acquisition of the above-mentioned knowledge, the students will acquire the following skills:

  • Understand why FX-rates fluctuate and which risks these fluctuations impose on multinational corporations.
  • Understand the dynamics of FX-rates and measure FX-rate risk and political risk.
  • Identify and quantify a company's exposure to exchange rate risk and political risk.
  • Implement hedging strategies and understand how they create value.
  • Compute the value of domestic firms, calculating the optimal capital structure, and understanding the role of debt financing and taxes.
  • Calculate the present value of a domestic project and make recommendations on its implementation.
  • Apply the appropriate modifications to the capital budgeting process when moving from a domestic to an international setting.
  • Calculate the value of multinational companies, their investment opportunities, and hedging strategies.
  • Incorporate expropriation risk in the valuation of foreign investments.
General Competence

Multinational corporations operate in a complex environment and the course provides a series of models to understand this environment and tools to cope with it. However, no model will be able to fully capture this complexity and we will devote time to critically assess them and show their limitations with empirical tests. Thus, an important learning outcome of this course is to understand the shortcomings of the models because this should itself enter the corporation's decision-making process.

Course content
  1. Introduction: Globalization and the Multinational Firm
  2. The International Monetary System: FX-rate quotation, Foreign Exchange Market, Balance of payments, FX-rate regimes
  3. Parity Relationships: covered and uncovered interest parity, purchasing power parity, international Fisher effect, carry trading
  4. Currency Futures and Options for Hedging
  5. Transaction (contractual) Exposure: financial hedging with derivatives, special hedging problems, alternative hedging approaches
  6. Operating Exposure: reclassification of financial statements, measurement of linear vs non-linear exposure, financial hedging with derivatives, operational hedging.
  7. Domestic Capital Structure: Modigliani-Miller theorems I and II without taxes, and with taxes.
  8. International Capital Structure and the Cost of Capital: the role currency risk and debt financing from the perspective of a multinational corporation.
  9. Net Present Value (NPV): theoretical foundations, practical adjustment in presence of political risk in international investments.
  10. Domestic Capital Budgeting: Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC), Adjusted Present Value (APV), and Flow to Equity approach (FTE).
  11. International Capital Budgeting: the role of royalties, cross-border dividend payments, cannibalization of exports, and financial-side effects in an international environment.
Teaching and learning activities

The active learning process develops throughout the semester based on the following teaching and learning activities.

  • In-class lectures, where students have the opportunity to discuss with the lecturer the theory part of the course.
  • Pre-recorded videos that further develop the topics covered in class, with focus on the quantitative topics and applications of the theory discussed in class.
  • Digital drop-in sessions to mentor the students and support their active learning process throughout the entire semester.
  • A set of periodic and non-graded homework assignments, with the help of which the students can practice by solving exercises, and further develop their skills during the semester.
  • Two take-home projects thanks to which students can familiarize with the implementation in Excel of complex tasks related to the theory discussed in class, and solve a case study from the perspective of a multinational corporation.
Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Honour Code

Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honour code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honour code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honour code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask.

Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Covid-19 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Teaching 

Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge

Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA65441
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
25No 1 Semester(s)Group (4 - 5)Case work that applies the theories and methods learned in the course in practical situations with the use of Microsoft Excel.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA65441
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
75Yes3 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Final written examination under supervision.
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:25
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (4-5)
Support materials:
Duration: 1 Semester(s)
Comment:Case work that applies the theories and methods learned in the course in practical situations with the use of Microsoft Excel.
Exam code:GRA65441
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:75
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:Final written examination under supervision.
Exam code:GRA65441
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Sum workload: 
0

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.