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MGT604 - Management of Financial Institutions - Lecture Handout 27

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Mutual Funds

Investing In International Mutual Funds

Investing in international mutual funds has two faces:

  • First is buying funds from US based companies that buy and manage portfolio in internationally listed stocks/securities. These companies are governed by regulations of SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)
  • Second is buying mutual funds from international non US companies.

A word of caution before investing even in best international mutual funds - Unlike domestic mutual funds investment, international investments entail additional risk factors such as economic and political in addition to risk of FOREX value (simply put: foreign currency exchange value) fluctuations.

Why Should You Invest In International Opportunities?

The number of funds in international investing is on the rise. We can cite a few reasons for this.

  • Removal of trade barriers and expanding of economies have sparked off growth in many non-US companies.
  • Some of the major industries of the world are dominated by non US companies.
  • Over 72% of the world stocks are listed out side US.
  • Greater and true diversification and opportunity to capitalize on best overseas companies.

Investing in international mutual funds is gaining popularity for various reasons. Rising political stability merging or opening of borders and currencies are some of the reasons. Vibrant and upcoming economies and non US corporations becoming financially stronger by the day are some of the reasons. In addition you get true diversification, balance and
opportunities.

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MGT604 - Management of Financial Institutions - Lecture Handout 16

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ROLE OF COMMERCIAL BANKS

Types of investment banks

  1. Investment banks "underwrite" (guarantee the sale of) stock and bond issues, trade for their own accounts, make markets, and advise corporations on capital markets activities such as mergers and acquisitions.
  2. Merchant banks were traditionally banks which engaged in trade financing. The modern definition, however, refers to banks which provide capital to firms in the form of shares rather than loans. Unlike Venture capital firms, they tend not to invest in new companies

Banks in the Economy

Role in the money supply

A bank raises funds by attracting deposits, borrowing money in the inter-bank market, or issuing financial instruments in the money market or a capital market. The bank then lends out most of these funds to borrowers. However, it would not be prudent for a bank to lend out all of its balance sheet. It must keep a certain proportion of its funds in reserve so that it can repay depositors who withdraw their deposits.

Bank reserves are typically kept in the form of a deposit with a central bank. This is called fractional-reserve banking and it is a central issue of monetary policy.

Note that under Basel I (and the new round of Basel II), banks no longer keep deposits with central banks, but must maintain defined capital ratios

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