25752 - International Finance

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the completion of the course, students will have a thorough knowledge of concepts and analytical techniques in financial management, and they will be able to apply them to nowadays international market transactions. This includes the ability to understand the governance of multinational companies, and their investing, financing, and risk management decisions, in a perspective of maximising the value to their shareholders.

Course contents

International Finance will provide students with an introduction to financial decision-making, and the framework in which these decisions are made, specializing to the investment decisions of firms in a perspective of maximizing the value to shareholders.

The first module (Introduction to Finance) will cover the international financial system and its main actors, along with basic finance concepts such as the time value of money and asset valuation. The main financial markets—i.e., money, bond and stock market—will be discussed within the international financial system.

The second module (International Financial Management) will specialize to some of the theory and practice of decision-making within the firm. In particular, the module will study how firms evaluate international business opportunities, and to which extent international risks can be managed, with the aim of maximizing the value to shareholders.


The main textbook for the course is:

Peterson Drake, P. and F. J. Fabozzi, The Basics of Finance: An Introduction to Financial Markets, Business Finance, and Portfolio Management, John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

The following book is a good alternative and the only reference for lectures 7 and 8 (first module):

Pilbeam, K., Finance and Financial Markets, 4/e, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Additional readings may be assigned by the instructor as the course progresses.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures and classes.

Assessment methods

Course attendance is mandatory. 70 percent of the lectures is the minimum attendance rate to be granted access to the final test. The test will be composed of two 30-minute sessions. The first session will include 10 multiple-choice questions (10 points, i.e. 1 point each) and 5 short answer questions or short exercises (15 points, i.e. 3 points each). Each multiple-choice question will have 4 possible answers, and only 1 will be correct. In the second session, which will start immediately after the first session, students will have to answer a few questions on a research topic of their choice, among 4 proposed. For each research topic, students will be provided with a few papers to study in-depth. This second session will grant a maximum of 8 points, to be added to the result of the abovementioned test. The overall maximum grade of the test is 33 (if greater than 30, it will be considered as 30 with honours).

The test assessment grid is as follows:
< 18: fail
18-23: sufficient
24-27: average/good
28-30: very good
30 cum laude: excellent/outstanding.

Teaching tools

Lecture slides and additional readings which may be assigned by the instructor as the course progresses.

Office hours

See the website of Massimiliano Barbi