🔘Poor time management(超时，超时，超时！)
🔘Not completing sufficient questions（空题，大忌！）
🔘 Poor exam technique（在擅长的题目上浓墨重彩，造成时间不足去完成剩下的题目！）
🔘 Lack of question practice under examination conditions（模考练习不够！）
🔘 Spending time on unnecessary introductions or definitions or reproducing figures already given in the question（想靠机械记忆在P段拿分！）
🔘 Illegible scripts，incomplete sentences （字迹太乱，非完整句！）
🔘 Numerical answers that were poorly structured (计算部分不用标准格式，不给出计算的过程！)
🔘 Written answers that were poorly structured. It was difficult to identify in some answers whether candidates were discussing advantages or disadvantages, assumptions or risks;（论述部分逻辑性差,请用subheadings！）
🔘 Not carefully reading the requirements of a question and therefore not answering the question that was asked (答非所问！)
Do not waste too much time on one question and have no enough time to cope with the remaining parts! Please do use the tips for time saving we’ve talked about during the tuition. Any figures you cannot estimate, just make up it and move on!
Use good structure or Performa to gain the four professional marks! You might be asked to write a report or a memo or a discussion paper. They actually have the same format: you should start with calculations(estimations) and please then use a fresh paper to write your report. Your examiner said:
“The report format should have an introduction; display a good structure and presentation with appropriate use of appendices, followed by a conclusion/recommendation that is relevant and meaningful to the foregoing discussion. Many candidates could have easily earned a professional mark available by providing an appropriate conclusion to the report. Candidates who demonstrated an awareness of the business environment that is relevant to the case study scenario often score good marks.”
If you are unable to answer certain small parts of a question, that is fine. Do not panic! Just do not leave an entire question unattempt!
If you find a question is relatively long and involves many discursive parts, then, please pay attention to the information given in the scenario which could actually be part of your answer!
Section A: a compulsory ‘mixed’ question
🔷It will be a ‘mixed ‘question involved many requirements from different areas.
September 2017 Q1:
(a)discuss differences between free trade areas and customs unions, and WTO;
(b) evaluate based on a net present value analysis within an international investment appraisal context, and the implications when macroeconomic and trading environment change;(C) discuss about the composition of senior management strategy such that the board skills and experience can be utilised in an efficient, effective and transparent way
🔷Therefore, for Dec sitting, the question one will also combine different examinable areas from entire syllabus. Actually, it can be anything (why not? If you are well prepared). Just say in report part, if it is about foreign investment appraisal, it will be quite similar to the Q7,Q8,Q9 in exam kit. Do not forget to assess the results you’ve achieved. If the examiner asks you to discuss the assumptions used, please do not just list the assumptions. You must discuss whether or not they are reasonable.
🔷 If it is about acquisition, refinancing or reorganization, it will be quite similar to Dec 2015 Q1, June 2016 Q2, Q3. Different business valuation methods (FCF, FCFE, P/E,DVM,BSOP) will be tested in the computational part. Their individual pros and cons will be discussed in the report. Do not forget reverse takeover indeed is not an acquisition but a quick listing strategy. (Please review recent technique article). Also, the three aspects from pattern of behavior can be applied in this section to analyze why many acquisitions in reality failed. The maximum premium or net extra benefit generated from an acquisition or extra finance required are the topics been tested many times. Different acquisition financing strategies (cash offer, share-share, bonds, and convertibles) and the impacts on the share price(s) of acquiring company or (target company) or P/E ratios.
🔷Risk adjusted WACC is very important! It can be incorporated into investment appraisal or business valuation questions. Do not forget how to de-gear proxy’ equity beta, and re-gear relevant asset beta.
🔷 BSOP can also be used to value equity. The relevant calculation has been tested by the old examiner but not the current examiner. It is crucial to list the five variables and be able to discuss the limitations. Delta hedge and five Greeks can also come. Please be prepared to calculate hedge ratio. If you are holding shares, you will not necessarily to sell call options but to buy the puts.
🔷 Also, other topics like: bond valuation, duration or modified duration of bond, Islamic finance, probability analysis, regulation of takeover, and different risks of setting up foreign division can also appear in section A or B.
the topics mentioned above can also be tested as a 25-marks question. Hedging question can either be against foreign currency risk (please read the other two articles) or interest rate risk:
🔘Different hedging strategies: forward, future, option on future, collar, swap, currency swap (indeed is an interest rate swap, just the counter part is in a different country).
🔘This question will not be as difficult as you expect. Please review recent questions (Dec 2015Q2, 2013 Dec Q2).
🔘 You should write down the details, such as: the number of contracts, the expiry date of futures, the future price or exercise price of option.
🔘 The function of interest rate future is to fix the LIBOR (for instance) at the date of closing the transaction ( the start of loan or deposit). The future price at close-out date should be estimated through estimating unexpired basis at close-out date which is an important working. That is also where the basis risk coming from.
🔘 Option on futures gives buyer right but not obligation to exercise future contracts. Using option is normally an expensive alternative, as premium must be paid regardless of the fact option will be exercised or not. The profit on option for option buyer is calculated by comparing the future price at close-out date and the exercise price selected. Please ensure you will get this right in the exam.
🔘 The purpose of using collar is to lower premium payable and to limit the upside benefit (as the possibility of this is low). If the company will borrow money, it will buy puts (cap) to set an upper limit of borrowing rate and sell calls (floor) to set a lower limit of borrowing rate. If the company will deposit money, it will buy calls (floor) to set a lower limit of depositing rate and to sell puts (cap) to set an upper limit of depositing rate. When it buys options, it will pay the premium. When it sells options, it will receive the premium.
🔘 Determining forward rates and its application to interest swap.
2 Section B(September 2017)
(a) a discuss the merits of specific sources of finance for an acquisition proposal and to recommend the most appropriate mode of financing
(b) discuss the regulatory and ethical issues when raising financing capital
(a) calculate how much an unbundled part of a company may be sold for and the impact of its sale on the company’s financial structure and performance
(b) an evaluation of the decision to sell off the unbundled part of the company
(a) hedge against interest rate risk
(b) discuss the role of the treasury function in different geographical locations, in managing risk exposure and maximising corporate value
P4 exam is extremely time demanding, please manage your time wisely and please write the complete sentences in the exam!