Dr. P.V. Viswanath



Economics/Finance on the Web
Student Interest

  Courses/ FIN 649  

Pace University
Fin EDHEC: Mergers and Capital Markets
Summer 2006
Prof. P.V. Viswanath


  1. If your answers are not legible or are otherwise difficult to follow, I reserve the right not to give you any points.
  2. If you cheat in any way, I reserve the right to give you no points for the exam, and to give you a failing grade for the course.
  3. You may bring in a formula sheet containing only formulas, no worked out examples, nothing else.
  4. You must explain all your answers. For the quantitative questions, you must show your formulas and your computation, else you may get no credit at all.


Media articles and short conceptual questions on Operating Exposure, Transactions Exposure and Capital Budgeting in an International Context.

1. (15 points)  "Read the article below, "China, U.S. Steelmakers Forge Ties," from the Wall Street Journal of July 10, 2006 and answer this question:

What rationale for the merger has been given in the article? Comment on it in the context of the theories discussed in class.

Is this a merger? Is this a horizontal, vertical or conglomerate merger?

Wuhan Iron Sets Deal
With a Missouri Firm
To Produce Cables
July 10, 2006 5:35 p.m.

BEIJING -- Wuhan Iron & Steel Corp. has signed a $100 million deal with a Missouri-based specialty steelmaker to tap into China's building and energy boom.

Wire Rope Corp. of America will own 51% of the new joint venture, which will produce cables used in bridges, cranes and mining -- as well as on oil rigs to lift drills.

The two companies plan to build a one million-square-foot (90,000-square-meter) plant to be located in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, in Hubei province. The plant will be able to produce 50,000 metric tons a year when it becomes fully operational in about 18 months.

"We realized the Chinese market was fed by imports or local products which are not up to standard. The market was really wide open," said Ira Glazer, chief executive of Wire Rope, which is among the world's largest producers of the product.

Mr. Glazer said he hopes to double capacity within a few years, and thinks sales could reach $500 million a year.

The deal follows in the footsteps of Mittal Steel Co., which formed the first Sino-foreign joint venture in China's steel industry last fall with Hunan Valin Steel & Iron Group.

Privately held Wire Rope was purchased by KPS Special Situations Funds, a turnaround specialist, more than three years ago. The company also has plants in Mexico.

For Wire Rope, the alliance offers several advantages, including preferential access to cheap raw materials from its Chinese partner, cheap labor and a closer connection to a market that it expects to expand 7% a year.

China's steel sector is the midst of a punishing domestic price war because of overcapacity in the steel sector, especially in lower-end products, even as the price of iron soars. Chinese companies have met strong resistance to attempts to export more as foreign companies accuse the Chinese of dumping.

At the same time, China imports many more complicated products such as wire ropes, which can be fitted with sensors for use in specialty tasks such as drilling on oil rigs.

Wuhan Iron & Steel sees the joint venture as a way to differentiate itself by being able to bring in better technology, especially as pressure mounts for consolidation in China's steel sector. The government has said it wants the country's 10 biggest steel producers to control 70% of the market by 2020, and wants to cap steel production through 2010 at 400 million tons. China is the world's biggest producer and consumer of steel.

"We needed to get in touch with an American company and brand; we needed to expand our capacity and technique," said Zhou Minhua, general manager of the wholly owned Wuhan subsidiary that is handling the deal.


Is the risk here diversifiable? Country risk? Currency risk? Commodity risk?

Can you interpret this as diversification of operating exposure?

2. At 10:09 p.m. on June 14, 2006, the following rates were shown on http://www.ozforex.com.au.










The EUR/USD forward rate for 3 months was

3 Months



The GBP/USD forward rate for 3 months was

3 Months



According to Bloomberg, on the same date, the yield on 3-month US T-bills was 4.88%, on 3-month German bills was 2.86% and that on British 3-month bills was 4.5%. 

  1. If you had $100 on June 14th, and wanted to invest it in British 3-month bills, but at the same time, hedge yourself against adverse changes in the pound-dollar rate, what rate of return would you get? How does this compare with you return from investing in US T-bills? Comment on the similarity or difference between the two numbers.
  2. Assuming you can borrow and lend at the given rates, can you make money, without bearing any risk? Prove your answer with computations (i.e. show exactly what you would do to generate the arbitrage profits, if any).
  3. What is your estimate of what the EUR/USD rate will be on September 14, 2006?
  4. The (annualized) inflation rate in the US is currently 4.17% (computed for May 2006 by http://inflationdata.com.  Suppose you believe that inflation will be about the same in the US for the next three months.  What is your estimate of the inflation rate in the euro-currency area for the next three months?
  5. The EUR/USD rate on 30/04/2006 was 1.2635, while on 31/05/2006, it was 1.2858.  If you believe that the PPP held over the month of May, estimate the actual rate of inflation in the euro-currency area over the month of May. You can use the 4.17% US inflation estimate from inflationdata.com.

3. Answer any four of the following questions:

  1. Why are a central bank’s independence and reputation important for the stability of that country’s currency value?
  2. If a country changes its political system drastically, and its political leaders change its economic policies, with the result that its GDP increases over a five year period.  How would you expect its currency to behave over that five year period?
  3. What is dollarization and how might it be used?
  4. Your friend believes that prices tend to equalize across countries – even goods that cannot be transported over borders.  Do you agree?  Explain.
  5. What are some reasons why interest rate parity might not hold?