Wharton
FNCE 731: International Corporate Finance

Syllabus

 
Course Grading

Prof Gordon Bodnar
Summer 2010

Exams

Course Materials

Prob Sets and Cases

Groups

Contact Professor

 

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Course Outline

Class Announcements

Student Subscription Info for Mag/Papers 

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Course Description

This course will cover issues related to both international financial markets and the financial operation of a firm within the international environment.  The first part of the course will examine issues related to the international markets, including international commercial policy, international capital flows, foreign exchange markets, the international money markets, and currency derivative markets.  The second part of the course will consider financial issues associated with the operation of a firm in the international environment.  Specifically, this part of the course will focus on the identification, measurement, and management of the impact of exchange rate changes on the firm, the additional complexities associated with identifying the expected cash flows in a cross border investment project, measuring a foreign projectís cost of capital; and corporate financing opportunities in a global market.  While the course discusses theoretical basis on the various issues, it relies on both empirical evidence and discussion of firms' real world activities.  The course style is mostly lectures with some class discussions.  It evaluates students through several quantitative problem sets, case studies, and a midterm and end of course exam.


 Course Grading

To receive credit for the course, each student will be responsible for writing a midterm exam and a second exam.   The midterm exam will be FRIDAY JUNE 11, 2010 from 4:45pm-6:45pm.  The second exam will be SATURDAY AUGUST 7, 2010 during the morning session.  Students will also be responsible for handing in several problem sets and case write-ups as part of a study group.  The final grade will be determined by the following weights:

 First Exam   35%
 Second Exam  25%
 Cases/Problem Sets   30%
 Group/Class Participation   10%

The participation portion of the grade is based upon general class participation and group participation as evaluated by your group members.  To promote classroom participation, discussion is evaluated only on involvement and quality rather than on the particular position taken.  Please note that 40% of the grade is determined by group activities so keep this in mind when forming study groups. 


Course Materials

A bulk pack will be provided for the non-textbook readings of the course.  Other handouts, such as problem sets, cases, case setups, and class notes will be provided as necessary throughout the course.  Students will also receive a copy of the course slides at the beginning of each session.  Much of this material can also be downloaded from the course website.

The textbook provided for this course is: International Financial Management, 5nd Edition, by Eun and Resnick, publisher: Irwin/McGraw Hill, 2008.  ISBN: 9780073382340

Chapters from this book are listed in the syllabus as IFM and provide useful background and additional discussion of the topics discussed in class.  Due to time considerations, we will not cover all of the topics in the text, although it is highly recommended that you read the entire text.  In addition it will be assumed that students are thoroughly familiar with an introductory corporate finance textbook. 

In addition to the text and the required readings, avid students of international finance will wish to stay on top of current issues by following additional sources on information.  Recommended sources include:

The Economist - good economic analysis of occasional related issues.
Financial Times - good international company and capital markets section.
Euromoney - great international finance and banking coverage - a big read.
Corporate Finance - excellent corporate finance magazine - specialized for practitioners
Global Finance - good overall magazine for practical international finance issues. 

Student subscription rates are available for some of these publications.  Click here for more information.

Finally, I often refer students to web sites for additional reading material as well as current events news, and additional information on a topic, or information that would be helpful for a problem set or case.  Thus it will be assumed that people have both access and the knowledge necessary to navigate around the worldwide.


Groups

Each member of the class is encouraged become part of a study group consisting of three to five students.  This group will work together and prepare answers to the discussion cases/problem sets (however, any student may elect to submit a minority opinion on an issue, if desired).  Once a group is formed it cannot be changed, so please choose your groups carefully.  Issues regarding free riding, shirking, etc. in group work are often more severe in the last year of a program, so be sure that you and your group internalizes such issues when forming. At the end of the course, group members will be asked to confidentially evaluate the participation of the other group members as an attempt to externally control such behavior.  This evaluation will impact on the studentís class participation score. 

Each group should choose an unique group name to identify themselves over the term.  Please include this group name in the file name of the electronic problem set and case submissions.  I prefer that these submissions are done in MSWord or MSExcel.  


Exam Policy

The exams are closed book although I will provide an equation sheet as the memorization of economic and financial formulas is not the goal of this course.  Students need only bring a calculator and writing utensils to exams.  Absences from exams must be arranged in advance and make-up exams must be taken in advance of the actual exam unless there is a confirmed medical excuse.  For all exams students are expected to follow the Wharton honor code.


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      This class operates under the Wharton Honor Code.  Students are expected to do their own work (or work within their group).  At no time is it permissible to use materials from former students or other sources that relate to problem sets or exams other than what is currently provided on the course website. Violations of this rule will be treated as a breach of the Honor Code.


Cases/Problem Sets

Cases and problem sets are to be submitted via email by the time at date indicated on the class outline.  The problem sets are meant as exercises to practice some of the material.  Answers will be provided for the problem sets.  Some of the cases will be the topic of discussion for a part of the class period, while others are meant purely as homework.  Students should bring to class a copy of the case material for class discussion when indicated.

 As with the real world, all of the cases are written to focus on issues, not answers, and as such are somewhat ambiguous.  There are no "right answers" to the cases, only good arguments and bad arguments for taking particular actions or decisions, especially on the corporate cases.  Unlike other finance courses, there is sometimes a limited amount of quantitative information on which to make a decision and thus it is often impossible to compute an exact answer as might be done in other courses.


Contact Professor

I will attempt to make myself available during the Friday/Saturday periods in which you are on campus in order to answer questions. I am usually available after class periods or during the lunch breaks. On double class weekends I will be available on Friday evenings for additional questions.  In addition, I am an avid user of e-mail.  My email address for the course is bodnar@jhu.edu.   If you wish to speak to me directly, my office number is (202) 663 - 7731. 

There is also a TA for the course.  His name is Alex Demyanets.  He is a PhD student at SAIS.  He has been the TA this course for several years and is very capable of answering questions.  His email is ademyan1@jhu.edu. 


 


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