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2016 CFA Institute Research Challenge

News story

An exciting international networking opportunity awaits five Curtin Business School international finance students based at Charles Telfair Institute in Mauritius. The students will be flying to the USA to compete in the regional final of the 2016 CFA Institute Research Challenge taking place in Chicago on 13 to 15 April.

Ashraf Bhatoo, Keshav China-Appadu, David Cheung Han Sin, Oudhai Beegoo and Sandra Siow Pin Lau, supported by faculty advisor Dr Karlo Juan, recently won the local round of the CFA Institute Research Challenge, organised by CFA Mauritius for the first time.

All the teams were asked to submit a written research report on a designated company and those short-listed presented their findings to a panel of judges composed of financial experts.

Keshav China-Appadu said, “For this project, we analysed the recent history of [hotel group] LUX* resorts and hotels group, its corporate governance and the risks faced both by the industry and the company itself. In addition, we applied financial models to attempt to value the company and find the intrinsic value of its shares. We spent months poring over the financial reports of the company, its competitors, as well as closely following the news for information affecting the hospitality industry. From this analysis, we were able to give a recommendation to current and potential investors.”

The students were assigned an industry mentor who shared his experience as a professional financial analyst. The team was also invited to a Q&A session with the senior management of LUX*. David Cheung Han Sin found the session particularly useful: “[It] really helped shed some light on the top-level decision making process of such a big company. The experience was really enriching and helped us apply our knowledge to a real-life situation.”

The CFA Institute Research Challenge has expanded rapidly over the last ten years, now encompassing tens of thousands of students from more than 800 universities in more than 55 countries.

This will be the first time travelling to the USA for the five students. The Charles Telfair Institute team are looking forward to meet the other international teams in Chicago.

Sandra Siow Pin said, “We are all very excited at being involved in such a big event. Since this is the 10th anniversary of the competition, all the regional participants will be competing in the USA at the same time rather than in their respective regions.   We are very excited at the idea of meeting participants from all over the world, from Asia to the Americas, including Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We are very proud, albeit a little apprehensive, at the idea of representing our university and our country on such a global stage.”

Keshav adds, “Going to Chicago to represent Mauritius still feels like a dream. However, we [are] also relieved that our hard work, dedication and sacrifice has finally paid off.”

The team is grateful for the support they have received from Charles Telfair Institute. Ashraf Bhatoo said: “We would like to say a big thank you to the Charles Telfair Institute, and to our lecturers, who have supported us in this and provided assistance whenever we asked for it.”

Charles Telfair Institute is an official partner of Curtin University offering Curtin Business School courses to international students in Mauritius.

David concludes: “We would encourage all current students to take part in competitions such as these which go above and beyond the curriculum from the classes. The real world application of concepts learned in class, as well as close contact with industry professionals, really broaden one’s perspective.”

Curtin Business School wishes the team all the best.