2017-2018 / FINA0028-5

International Finance


30h Th

Nombre de crédits

 Master en sciences économiques, orientation générale, à finalité5 crédits 
 Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité5 crédits 


Aline Muller

Langue(s) de l'unité d'enseignement

Langue anglaise

Organisation et évaluation

Enseignement au premier quadrimestre, examen en janvier

Unités d'enseignement prérequises et corequises

Les unités prérequises ou corequises sont présentées au sein de chaque programme

Contenus de l'unité d'enseignement

Financial operations performed in an environment of open and integrated markets entail a whole series of challenges linked to the macroeconomic and macrofinancial characteristics of an increasingly internationally designed environment. In today's globalized world managers, investors and policy-makers need a deep understanding of this environment and its underlying mechanisms to build sound financial and strategic decision-making.
Specifically, the course will examine the following issues:
The first part of the course focuses on foreign exchange (fx) rates: fx rate fundamentals (definition, distinction between direct vs. cross, real vs. nominal and spot vs. forward fx rates), fx rate dynamics (how are markets organized, who is participating in these markets, how do we arbitrage on these markets?), inflation dynamics, international parity relationships as well as more structural and/or institutional parameters of fx markets (exchange rate regimes, roles and objectives of central banks, trade and capital flows, balance of payments, trade and capital flows restrictions, trading blocs, economic/monetary/ /fiscal policies, economic/monetary/fiscal unions, etc). 
The second part of the course concentrates on multinational financial management issues: the identification, measurement, and management of exchange rates exposure; corporate financial decision making of an internationally oriented firm; performance-based evaluation of cross-border projects; as well as financing and investing in global markets.

While the course focuses on understanding fundamental theories behind these issues, it also examines empirical evidence and examples of firms' real world activities with the goal of preparing a student for a career dealing with financial decision making in an international environment.
The course is a combination of lecture style presentations and carefully documented discussions of real-life topics (based on case studies as well as on FT and The Economist readings).

Acquis d'apprentissage (objectifs d'apprentissage) de l'unité d'enseignement

At the end of this course students will be able to
- identify and exploit arbitrage opportunities in international financial markets; 
- understand spillover effects across markets;
- build a well-articulated analysis of countries' economic, fiscal and monetary policies;
- build exchange rate forecasts based on different modeling techniques;
- identify, estimate and hedge foreign exchange risk exposures;
- design sound investment strategies in an international environment;
- evaluate cross-border investment projects;
- design optimal corporate financial decisions for internationally oriented companies.
Specific skills and competences trained during this course.
At the end of this course students will have:
- strengthened their knowledge and understanding of macroeconomic, finance and management disciplines - in particular in international finance;
- strengthened their capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a complex, transversal real-life economic and/or management problem, to perform a rigorous analysis of the problem at hand and to provide economically sound solutions; 
- understood the transversal role of quantitatve reasoning, gained knowledge and understanding of these quantitative reasoning techniques and developed the ability to mobilize them in order to solve real-life economic and/or management problems or cases;
- developed their ability to speak in English; 
- developed team work abilities;
- developed a transversal, interdisciplinary and global vision;
- developed their critical sense (arguing);
- strengthened their professional capacity for oral communication;
- and strengthened their professional capacity for written communication.

Savoirs et compétences prérequis

Basics in macroeconomics : GDP, GNP and other key aggregates, fundamentals of trade (including the dynamics of market forces of supply and demand), fundamentals of international trade and international economics, theories of business cycles as well as business cycles' economic implications, fundamentals of fiscal, economic and monetary policies, definitions and functions of money as well as basic money market dynamics.
Basics in corporate finance, financial markets and financial mathematics : asset pricing modeling, cash-flow analysis, discounted cash-flow analysis and NPV methodology, financial statement analysis, capital budgeting.

Activités d'apprentissage prévues et méthodes d'enseignement

The course is lecture-style with discussions of IF topics through case-studies and selected readings. In addition to required textbook chapter readings and some additional required readings (via course webpage), I highly encourage all students to read the Finance and international Business sections of The Economist and the Financial Times over the semester. The course will also include a detailed analysis of several Central Bank policies throughout the world.

Mode d'enseignement (présentiel ; enseignement à distance)

The course is face-to-face lecture and discussion style. Some topics will be prepared through distance learning

Lectures recommandées ou obligatoires et notes de cours

Multinational Financial Management 10th Edition, by Alan Shapiro (Wiley ISBN-10: 1118572386 | ISBN-13: 978-1118572382)

Modalités d'évaluation et critères

The final grade will be determined by
Written exam
Ability to describe international finance mechanisms, to identify and exploit arbitrage opportunities, to design sound financial decision-making in an international environment, to build a well-articulated comprehensive answer
Mini Case-studies, Problem sets and Topic presentations
Ability to design sound financial decision-making in an international environment and to present and justify proposed solutions to selected problem sets. Ability to present comprehensive discussions of IF topics.
Ability to build a well-articulated analysis of countries' monetary policies and to understand the functioning of CB policies
Attending class and actively discussing material in class
Remark : Students are invited to keep problem solutions, case write-ups and exam writing short and to the point. Concise writing is a crucial skill for their future career in finance.



Remarques organisationnelles

Finance is definitively an analytic field. As a consequence, this course will require students to understand models, do calculations and numerical analysis. Problem sets are to be handed in at the time and date as announced in class. The purpose of problem-based assignments is to understand issues, not to replicate answers. There are no "right answers" to the cases, only good arguments and weak arguments supporting the decision to take specific actions.
Students are expected to do their own work (or work within their group). At no time is it tolerated to use materials from former academic years or other sources. No plagiarism of any kind will be tolerated.
The final written exam is a closed book exam. Students need only bring a calculator and writing utensils to class. Absences from exams are allowed only for validated medical reasons. Unexcused absences from exams will lead to a zero score in the calculation of the final grade.


Aline Muller, Ph.D. | Professor of Finance
HEC - Management School of the University of Liège (Belgium) 
Rue Saint Gilles 35, Bldg. N2, B-4000 Liège Belgium

tel : 0032 4 232 7435 / email : aline.muller@ulg.ac.be / website: www.finance.hec.ulg.ac.be

Julien Poncelet HEC - Management School of the University of Liège (Belgium)
Rue Saint Gilles 35, Bldg. N2, B-4000 Liège Belgium
email : jponcelet@ulg.ac.be / website: www.finance.hec.ulg.ac.be

Notes en ligne

The core materials for the course consist of the required textbook readings and additional readings posted on the course web page. Lecture notes will be available on the course web page. Other items such as problem sets and case questions will also be available on the course web page. Some additional readings on materials related to the course over the term may be provided throughout the course via the course web page.