Fin 456/Fin 556 – International Financial Management

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FIN 456/Fin 556 – International Financial Management

School of Business Administration - Portland State University – CRN 65646 / 65647

Spring 2010

Instructor: Ulrich “Uli” Kammholz, MBA

Adjunct Faculty, School of Business Administration

Portland State University,

Portland, Oregon 97207

Class Periods: Mondays and Wednesdays

Dates: March 28 – June 8, 2010

Place: TBD

Office: I do not have an office on Campus, but I will be happy to schedule time with students 1 hour prior to class or within 1 hour after class.

Please schedule via e-mail


PURPOSE: The primary purpose of the course is to examine and understand the conceptual framework that provides the foundation to analyze key financial decisions of an international business or one exposed to global competition. The international aspects of financial management, or similarly, the foreign financial operations from the perspective of a multinational corporations (MNC) build upon the principles of financial management. Thus, the course builds upon and extends the valuation framework of domestic corporate finance and integrates the dimensions unique to international finance.

OBJECTIVES: The financial management function of global firms can be divided into five distinct segments for ease of understanding the many aspects of the subject. The underlying premise is that the MNC serves as a “catalyst and facilitator” of international trade and as an important producer and distributor in host countries.

  1. Understanding the international economic and financial environment. Part I.

  2. Understanding the foreign exchange rate determination, including the foreign exchange and derivatives markets. Part II.

  3. Understanding foreign exchange exposure measurement and management. Part III.

  4. Understanding the financial management aspects of the MNC. Part IV.

  5. Understanding the world financial markets and institutions. Part V.

METHOD: The course is conducted through a series of lectures, selected case studies (text short cases and two longer case handouts), and end of chapter questions and problems. Students are required to write case briefs on the longer cases. On occasion a group of 2 or 3 students will be asked to lead one case discussion session. On such occasions, these 2-3 students can submit a collective case brief.

SHORT PAPER: Students are encouraged to read the daily press to select an international economic or financial topic of interest, and are required to write a short paper (3, not more than 10 pages) on that topic and its relevance to international finance. The topic can also be about a world financial institution. International economic or financial topics will be discussed in class and students may volunteer presenting their topic to class. There will be a sign up sheet to avoid duplication of the topics.

LONGER CASE STUDIES: There will be two longer case studies – Mercedes Benz and Merck & Co., Inc. MSDI—Alcala de Henares, Spain. Each student must read the case before coming to the class and submit a one to two page case brief answering the specific assignment questions. The brief should include a very short case background, the case problem, brief analysis and possible alternative solutions.

If a group--in this class, it will be graduate students--is asked to lead the case analysis and discussion, they will be allowed 15 minutes to cover the important aspects of their analysis. The group presenting their views can submit one joint case brief. All other students--graduate and undergraduate--must submit individual case briefs.

END OF CHAPTER ASSIGMENTS: There are frequent end-of chapter questions and problems assignments, which serve as very useful and important reviews of the subject matter. These assignments will be collected at the beginning of each week. Note: You are strongly urged to turn in assignments each week. If you miss some of the assignments, the ultimate deadline is the day of the classroom examination. For example, the latest day to turn in all assigned materials from Chapters 1-7 of the textbook is the day of the first classroom exam.

EXAMINATIONS: There is a mid-term examination and also a final examination based upon topics and materials covered.


Mid-term 30% in class exam.

Final 30% in class exam

Case Brief (s) 20%

Assignments: Questions & Problems 15%

Short Paper 5%

COURSE POLICIES: Each student is expected to read the assigned materials before coming to class, attend all lectures, keep up with the topics covered, complete assigned work and presentations, be responsible for all in-class and e-mail announcements, and take the scheduled examinations. If a student has an approved compelling reason for not taking the mid-term, a special make-up examination must be arranged with the instructor and taken in the PSU Testing Center (at UCB). Students failing to take an examination without prior approval will receive zero points. As to class attendance, experience indicates that your grades are usually lowered if you miss more than 5 class sessions, and normally students should not expect to have a passing grade if 7 or more class sessions are missed.

PARTICIPATION: While I will not explicitly “grade” your participation, for students on a grading margin (i.e., B vs. B+, etc.), I will consider participation as an extra grading factor.

CLASS ROOM ENVIRONMENT: I want to foster a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. Generally, I feel it is best to run class in an informal/relaxed fashion. However, I expect students to behave as professionals by treating other class participants with courtesy and respect. I will do likewise. Please show up on time and ready to start at the scheduled time. Treat class time as a regular business meeting that is vital to your career progression.

MATTERS OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: As indicated throughout the syllabus, the penalties for academic dishonesty are quite severe, and could result in a non-passing grade for the course. Please consult with me if you need to discuss specific situations regarding academic integrity.


Cheol S. Eun and Bruce Resnick, International Financial Management, Fifth Edition (Boston, McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009).


Mercedes Benz - Harvard Business School #9-394-084, November 30, 1993

MSDI—Alcala de Henares, Spain (Merck & Co., Inc.) – Harvard Business School # 9-289-029, September 7, 1995


For a more detailed background on international economics see, Paul Krugman and Maurice Obstfeld, International Economics: Theory and Practice, 8th edition (Reading, Mass., Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 2008).

For a more advanced reference on international financial markets see, Richard M. Levich, International Financial Markets: Prices and Policies, 2nd edition (NY, McGraw-Hill, 2001)

Other suggested references for current events useful for your paper.

Euromoney Wall Street Journal and Asian Wall Street Journal

Asia Money Treasury and Risk Management

The Economist Financial Times

Business Week

Course Outline (to be updated)


Chapter 1. Introduction to MNE & multinational financial mgt.

Assignment: Questions 1,2 & 3 on Mini Case on Nike, as well as “What is the comparative advantage of the countries Nike product is produced in?” Also check internet exercise on Nestle.

Chapter 3. Balance of Payments.

Assignment: Questions # 3,4 & 5.

Chapter 2. International Monetary System.

Assignment: Summarize in a page, the commonalities from Mexican Peso Crises, the Asian Crises, and the Argentine Peso Crises and relate them to the current Global Financial Crisis. There are many new terms in this chapter, see “Key words” on p. 57,

Chapter 4. Corporate Governance.

Discuss in class, Mini Case on Parmalat and its relevance to the current crisis, i.e. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, Stanford Financial Group, etc.

  1. Foreign Exchange Market and Derivatives.

Chapter 5. Foreign Exchange Market Mechanics.

Assignment: TBD

Chapter 6. International Parity Relationships.

Assignment: TBD

Chapter 7. Currency Futures and Options.

Assignment: TBD

Mid-term Exam – Wednesday, April 27, 2010

(Exams normally take 1 week to grade.)

  1. Measuring and Managing FX Exposure

Chapter 8. Transaction Exposure.

Assignment: TBD

Chapter 9. Economic Exposure.

Assignment: TBD

Chapter 10. Translation or Accounting Exposure.

Assignment: TBD

Case Study: Mercedes Benz

  1. Financial Management Aspects of MNC.

Chapter 20. Financing International Trade.

Assignment: TBD

Chapter 18. Multinational Capital Budgeting.

Assignment: TBD

Case Study: MSDI—Alcala de Henares, Spain (Merck & Co., Inc.)

Chapter 16. Corporate Strategy and Foreign Direct Investment.

Assignment: TBD

  1. Financing Globally: the issues

Chapters 12 & 13. International Bonds and Equities.

Assignment: TBD

Chapter 14. Interest Rate and Currency Swaps.

Assignment: TBD

Final ExamWednesday, June 8, 2010.

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