Economic Environment & Public Affairs

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  1. Halo Top Ice Cream & Behavioral Economics AH1-003-I

    How do you go about making difficult decisions and what are the key psychological shortcuts and biases that may impair your rationality? This case uses the real-life example of the successful launch of Halo Top’s ice cream brand in the United States as the basis to construct a psychological review of the decision-making process of the company founder, advisers and consumers, helping to identify and illustrate some of the most common principles, heuristics and biases of Behavioral Economics. To do so, the case puts students in young entrepreneur Justin Woolverton’s shoes when he has to decide whether to launch the brand or keep his job as a lawyer, and then goes beyond to review the marketing process and consumer insights that are normally present in product introductions and promotions.

    Should Justin quit his highly lucrative day job as a lawyer and pursue his ice-cream making dreams? And, if he were to decide to launch his brand, what are the psychological biases and mind-traps that he would have to avoid (when making his decisions) or factor in (when considering those of his potential consumers)?

    Academic Area:
    Organisational Behaviour | Economic Environment & Public Affairs | Others
  2. Innovation at play: Gold certificate financing by Am … DF1-226-I

    Mariam Fatima has recently joined Amana Bank as a member of the New Product Initiatives Division. Seeing the need for a Shariah-compliant pawn service (Qard Hasan) in Sri Lanka, Fatima presents this product gap to her team. During two years, she and her team develop a pawn service that complies with Islamic banking principles - finally offering lower-middle-class individuals the opportunity to borrow money more securely.

    Academic Area:
    Finance | Innovation
  3. Jordan's Sovereign Sukuk: A dual solution to bo … DF1-221-I

    The Sukuk sector is the fastest growing sector of the Islamic Finance Industry. Indeed, it grew by 14% within just one year (between 2014 and 2015). The total outstanding Sukuk globally stood at US$ 342 billion at the end of 2015. Sukuk has been widely embraced globally as Sovereign Sukuk has been issued by various countries such as UK, Malaysia, Hong-Kong and South Africa. Supranational entities such as World Bank affiliates International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFI), the Islamic Development Bank Group and even companies such as Dubai Islamic Bank, Goldman Sachs and Zorly Energy have all issued Sukuk.

    The Jordan Sovereign Sukuk transaction was the pioneer Sovereign Sukuk issuance by the country. Jordan, which is one of ICD’s member countries, has been very active for the past couple of years in terms of Islamic Finance regulations and framework given that it has four Islamic banks in operation in Jordan and passed the Islamic Finance Sukuk Law in 2012.

    Academic Area:
    Finance | Innovation
  4. Communicating intangibles during a process of change … DF1-219-I

    At a time when public opinion of the financial sector was low at best, "la Caixa", a Catalonian bank founded in 1904, found itself in need of a transformation from a savings bank into a banking foundation. In order to communicate this transformation, "la Caixa" would need to convey that while the transformation would entail numerous changes in terms of its legal framework and corporate structure, it would still maintain the values and identity that identified it from its inception.

    Academic Area:
    Finance
  5. QE Liquidity in search of profitability: the dilemma … EC1-135-I

    This case seeks two purposes. First, illustrating the relevance of the economic environment for determining business profitability. Second, putting in practice students acquired macroeconomic analytical skills by using them to support a real life financial investment decision. The students are asked to endorse one of two options, US or Brazil, for the launching of a new investment fund by FTInvest, a financial investment company. The recommendation is made by students acting as members of the Economic Research Department of the company. Therefore, it should be based on the country identified by them as providing the most favorable economic environment for the profitability of the investment in the medium/long run. The decision takes place in the second half of 2011, at a time when the US economy showed a hesitant recovery after the Great Global Recession of 2008 and when the Brazilian economy was booming after a very short blip. It was also at a time when, due to ultra-loose US monetary policy, interest rates and yields were at historical lows in the US while they were relatively high in Brazil.

    Academic Area:
    Economic Environment & Public Affairs | Finance
  6. Tradition-based innovation for strategic Change in B … DF1-216-I

    In 1993 Bank Muscat was among the smallest banks in the Sultanate of Oman but over the last decade has grown to be the largest with a 40% market share in 2013. This increase in terms of market relevance has been driven by both organic growth and external factors. In 2014 Franco Álvarez a foreign consultant is trying to help Bank Muscat build a comprehensive innovation model. His first step is focused on understanding the current state of innovation within the bank. The ´Ibda (Innovation) competition organized by the bank offers him a first glance of how internal innovation could be fostered in the bank.

    The case provides insight into the innovation process in the Middle Eastern financial sector, focusing on Bank Muscat in Oman. It describes how an international consultant tries to help create an innovative model for the bank by asking top management questions and delving into the bank’s strategy. Through the questions he asks, readers learn about the history of the bank, the business culture and banking industry in Oman and Islamic banking. They also hear about an Ibda competition that ends up being a big inspiration for innovation at the bank.

    Academic Area:
    Finance | Innovation
  7. THE COST OF CAPITAL DF2-141-I

    This material focuses on determining the rate of return that will satisfy shareholders’ expectations and how to achieve it. It explains how to find the discount rate that represents the cost of the resources that will finance future investments and how to figure out the cost, or the WACC, by weighting the cost of debt and equity as a function of their relative importance in the company’s capital structure. In addition, it covers how to calculate the cost of debt based on the Gordon-Shapiro share pricing model and based on Sharpe’s asset valuation model using real-life examples and historical data. The case stresses that the manager must know how to add value to the investment; shareholders are entrusting the manager with their investment and expecting a higher rate of return than they could get without him. It wraps up by including an FAQ on WACC.

    Academic Area:
    Finance
  8. RATING AGENCIES PROCESS: HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS NECES … DF2-223-I

    Undoubtedly, obtaining a credit rating is one of the paramount decisions for any company to make during its entire existence as a going concern. From that moment on, not only will its corporate status be deeply modified bringing about a number of new additional requirements to comply with. Its overall relationships with its stakeholders will no longer be the same. Even the potential decision to turn back to the prior situation by relinquishing its rating and becoming unrated again, which is perfectly possible, will have meaningful implications going forward.

    This technical note is addressed to those enrolled in the Global Masters in Finance (GMIF) programs, particularly in connection with the “Introduction to the Capital Markets” subject. This paper also directly relates to all other subjects covering corporate finance and financing issues in the same program, as well as to the MBA programs and specialized finance courses.   

    Academic Area:
    Finance
  9. A Rose by any other name? Socially conscious investm … EC1-133-I

    Private enterprise often financed by foreign capital is the most direct and lasting route to economic development and poverty reduction for countries at the bottom of the pyramid. However those investments and economic development itself also have potentially large negative effects on society and the natural environment which may or may not outweight their benefits. If an outside investor is seeking to be socially responsible while setting in motion the dynamics of development that would alleviate poverty how should it juggle these issues? This case presents the situation of a socially conscious private investment firm which is deciding whether to invest in a rose farm in Ethiopia.

    Academic Area:
    Economic Environment & Public Affairs
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