Program Curriculum

The full-time MSc(IM) program commences in September and starts with six core courses (12 credits) as foundation training, and four required courses (8 credits).

Students can complete all course requirements in two semesters (12 months) for a total of 30 credits and declare one concentration: Asset Management or Risk Management. Students have the option to extend one more semester to 16 months for taking additional electives of up to 38 credits and declare both concentrations at no extra cost.

Core Courses (12 credits)

ACCT 5150 Accounting Foundations (2 credits)  

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

ECON 5030 Foundations of Economic Analysis (2 credits)  

An examination of some micro- and macro-economic concepts: competitive markets, profits in terms of cost structure and market power; national accounts and business cycles; money and inflation, economic growth, capital accumulation, technological advance and returns to capital and balance of payments.

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 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.

ISOM 5520 Statistics for Financial Analysis (2 credits) 

Applications of various statistical concepts to investment and financial decision including descriptive statistics, discrete and continuous probability distribution, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression.

Required Courses (8 credits)  

Law relating to companies registered in Hong Kong; company formation and records; share and loan capital; management and administration; reconstructions; mergers and take-overs; liquidation and receivership.
FINA 5220 Equity Investment Management (2 credits) 

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 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 (10-18 credits)

FINA 5420 Behavioral Finance (2 credits)*AM 
This course examines how individuals' attitudes and behavior affect their financial decisions and financial markets. Topics include: review of psychological foundations, imperfect markets and limited arbitrage, market anomalies, and trading strategies.
FINA 5150 Corporate Risk Management (2 credits)*RM 
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 5450 Hedge Funds (2 credits)*RM/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 5610 Real Estate Investment (2 credits)*RM/AM 

The goal of the course is to introduce to students recent developments in real estate markets, especially in Asia, and the basic knowledge for real estate investment. Students will learn basic concepts and skills for mortgage financing analysis and for real estate investment valuation and return analysis. Students will also be exposed to recent developments in real estate debt and equity markets.

FINA 5440 Risk Management for Financial Institutions (2 credits)*RM 

Brief overview of financial intermediaries and their functions. Measures of interest rate risk: periodic (re-pricing) gap, duration gap. Management of interest rate risk using appropriate composition of assets and liabilities, futures, options, caps, floors, collars, swaps. Market risk: value at risk measures. Management of credit risk, off-balance sheet risk, liquidity risk, capital adequacy. Deposit insurance. With selected case studies.

FINA 5230 Sustainable Investing*RM/AM 

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 5390 Venture Capital and Private Equity (2 credits)*AM 

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.

FINA6900K Alternative Investments (2 credits)*AM/RM 

This course introduces students to selected topics in alternative investment strategies. It covers the basic concepts of quantitative investment strategies, investment strategies based on big-data science, real asset investment, risk arbitrage, convertible bond arbitrage, and concludes with the topic on the investment in retail financial products.

FINA6900L Debt Restructuring (2 credits)*AM/RM 

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the financial, legal, and strategic issues associated with the corporate restructuring process. The main focus of the course will be on restructuring financially distressed firms. We’ll begin by reviewing the financial instruments commonly used by risky firms (leveraged loans and high-yield bonds) and learn to interpret the contracts that govern them (credit agreements and bond indentures). We’ll then survey a variety of restructuring methods (bankruptcy reorganizations, prepackaged and pre-negotiated bankruptcies, out-of-court workouts, exchange offers, and distressed asset sales) available to troubled firms and study the dynamics of the restructuring process through a number of case studies. Finally, we’ll consider distressed debt as an asset class and develop techniques for investing in distressed securities. Although the course will be primarily based on restructuring practice in the U.S an introduction to the legal and strategic issues with restructuring in Europe and Hong Kong will be provided. The course’s content will be presented using a mixture of lectures, case studies, and guest speakers.

FINA6900M Wealth Management (2 credits)*AM 

This course aims to provide a solid foundation which is essential for creating and managing an investment portfolio for individual clients. It focuses on the practical application of portfolio management and asset allocation processes in the context of wealth management for individual investors. With an introduction to the fundamental principles and the financial planning process, 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 the client. In addition, this course incorporates other wealth management issues including consumption planning, asset acquisition and retirement planning in designing a financial plan. In this course you will also learn to use the database Morningstar and work with the data in Excel spreadsheet programs. Thus this course prepares students to be investment professionals in the areas of private banking and asset management.


* Concentrations
RM: Risk Management
AM: Asset Management