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Hosted by CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, and the CFA Volunteer Community Vietnam, the competition provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis to promote best practices in equity research among the next generation of financial professionals. The winning team will represent Vietnam at the Asia-Pacific final in Chicago, Illinois, the US on April 11, 2016.
“The students from the Foreign Trade University Ho Chi Minh City have demonstrated that they have what it takes to become professional research analysts. The finance industry is a challenging environment, and we need young people like them who possess the skills and knowledge as well as persistence, commitment and ethical responsibility,” said Vo Sang Xuan Vinh, CFA, representing CFA Institute members in Vietnam who organised the competition. “We wish them all the best in the Asia-Pacific final in Chicago.”
Competing in the qualifying round were 75 students from 15 university teams, and only four advanced to final. The four finalist teams came from Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Foreign Trade University Ho Chi Minh City, International University Ho Chi Minh City, and Banking University Ho Chi Minh City.
Their challenge was to provide investment research recommendations for the stock of COTECCONS, one of the leading building and construction corporations in Vietnam. The four finalist teams presented their proposals to a panel of judges comprised of investment experts, namely Attila Koksal, CFA, board member of the CFA Institute Board of Governors, Tran Thi Kim Cuong, CFA, general director cum chief investment officer of Manulife Asset Management (Vietnam) Company Limited., Pham Cong Sang, CFA, managing director of South East Asia Fund SME Finance LLC., and Nguyen Hoai Thu, CFA, managing director of VinaCapital.
“We witnessed this remarkable professional judgment and a high level of enthusiasm from the finalist teams. This bodes well for the future of the finance industry in Vietnam and the rest of Asia Pacific,” said Attila Koksal. “CFA Institute believes in the benefits of working with the academic community through the Research Challenge to help prepare the best and brightest students in each country for the rigor and responsibility of the finance profession.”
Entering its 10th year now, the CFA Institute Research Challenge offers students with the unique opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and their peers from the world’s top business schools. Ethics and professional standards are essential components of this challenge. Through the course of the competition, which requires hundreds of hours of preparation, participants receive mentoring from a professional research analyst as they analyse a publicly traded company, write a professional research report, and present their research results and recommendations to a high-profile panel of experts. In 2014-2015, more than 4,000 students from 865 universities in 70 countries worldwide participated in the challenge. The 2016 global final will be held in Aprilin Chicago, Illinois, the US.
Meanwhile, a ceremony for new CFA charterholders was held following the Research Challenge final. This year, 38 individuals in Vietnam earned their Chartered Financial Analyst charter designation in a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City. To earn the CFA designation, candidates must pass three levels of rigorous exams, fulfill four years of work experience, and abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. There are about 22,000 CFA charterholders in Asia Pacific, and 141 of them are in Vietnam.
“I would like to congratulate all the new charterholders who join us in our pursuit to build professionalism, raise standards, and prove the value of the investment profession,” said Paul Smith, CFA, President and CEO, CFA Institute. “The financial market in Vietnam is growing rapidly, and it requires world-class financial talents for its sustainable growth. We will continue to collaborate closely with Vietnamese financial authorities and industry professionals to nurture a culture of ethical behavior, investor protection, and market integrity.”
CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organisation is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 132,000 members in 145 countries and territories, including 126,000 charterholders, and 146 member societies.
The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students work in teams to research and analyse a publicly traded company — sometimes even meeting face-to-face with company management. Each team produces an initiation-of-coverage report on their assigned company with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation and shall defend their thesis in front of a panel of industry experts.