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Exam Name: Exam I: Finance Theory, Financial Instruments, Financial Markets ? 2015 Edition

Number of questions in our database: 287

Exam Version: Feb. 15, 2024

Exam I: Finance Theory, Financial Instruments, Financial Markets ? 2015 Edition Exam Official Topics:

**Topic 1:**Describe how arbitrage pricing theory can be used for decision-making/ The Term Structure of Interest Rates**Topic 2:**Identify and describe risk adjusted performance measures/ Outline the components of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)**Topic 3:**Describe the axioms and assumptions of utility theory with respect to expected return and risk/ The CAPM and Multifactor Models**Topic 4:**Describe the lifecycle of a trade and distinguish between dealing and settlement/ Mean-Variance Portfolio Theory**Topic 5:**Understand the standardized characteristics of futures contract/ Discuss significant funding rates**Topic 6:**Define and describe the various participants within financial markets/ Calculate the bond equivalent yield of money market securities**Topic 7:**Identify and understand the components of option valuation/ Relate mean-variance portfolio theory to asset allocation decisions**Topic 8:**Assess and analyze the capital structure of entities/ Define and describe money market securities**Topic 9:**Participants in and the Structure of Financial Markets/ Discuss the rationale for futures markets and describe the settlement and clearing processes**Topic 10:**Define and describe the characteristics of bond markets/ Understand probability theory including Bayesian theory

Question #1

The two components of risk in a commodities futures portfolio are:

Commodity futures prices can be expressed as the summation of their spot prices and the carrying costs. Therefore any changes in either of these two would be a risk to the futures prices, and Choice 'b' is the correct answer. It is common to decompose complex commodity portfolios into underlying equivalent spot positions and the carrying costs, which includes interest, convenience yield and storage costs. For liquid commodities such as gold where changes of a short squeeze are low, interest costs dominate the carryings costs. Choice 'b' is the correct answer as it is most complete and covers the elements in the other choices. The 'lease rate' for a commodity is equivalent to (Fwd Price - Spot Price)/Spot Price, and comprises the interest and storage costs and the convenience yield. The other choices do not represent complete answers.

Question #2

It is October. A grower of crops is concerned that January temperatures might be too low and destroy his crop. A heating-degree-days futures contract (HDD futures contract) is available for his city. What would be the best course of action for the grower?

This question is based upon a weather derivative contract traded on the CME in the US. For each day, 'Heating-Degree-Days' (HDD) is calculated as equal to 65 degrees Fahrenheit minus the daily average temperature. The daily average temperature is based upon the temperature reported by the Earth Satellite Corporation using a specified automated weather station. Based upon daily values of HDD, an aggregated number called the 'CME degree days index' is calculated for each contract month. In other words, the index for a particular month is just the aggregation of the 'HDD' value for each of the days of that month. Each contract settles at the end of the month at a value equal to $20 x Degree Days Index. (In a similar way, 'Cooling Degree Days' are also calculated and a futures contract offered, except that CDD is equal to the average daily temperature minus 65 degrees). (Source: CME's website at CMEGroup.com)

In the given question, we are interested in hedging against the possibility of the temperature being too low. This means we should buy the HDD futures contract (the lower the temperature, the higher the difference of the average temperature from 65 degrees, and the higher the settlement). Therefore Choice 'b' is the correct answer. The lower the actual temperature turns out to be, the higher the payout to the grower. It would not be wise to wait till January to buy the contract as by then the prices of the contract would have already risen if the grower's fears of a colder January appear to be coming true. He can hedge his exposure by immediately locking in the January prices.

Question #3

Calculate the settlement amount for a buyer of a 3 x 6 FRA with a notional of $1m and contract rate of 5%. Assume settlement rate is 6%.

An m x n FRA is an agreement to borrow money for a period starting at time m and ending at time n at the contracted rate. Therefore, the buyer of the 3 x 6 FRA has committed to borrow $1m at the beginning of 3 months and return it at the end of 6 months, ie a total borrowing period of 3 months at a rate of 5%. Of course, the $1m is never actually exchanged, and at the beginning of the 3 month period when the next three months' interest rate is known (6%), the parties merely exchange the difference in the interest. SInce this interest was only due at the end of the 6 months and is being exchanged at the 3 month time point, it will have to be discounted to its present value.

The correct answer to this question is =(1,000,000 * (6% - 5%) * 3/12)/(1 + (6%*3/12))=$2463.05. Since interest rates rose, the borrower gained as he has the right to borrow at a lower rate, and therefore the seller will pay the borrower.

(Here:

- $1m is the notional

- 6% - 5% represents the difference between the contracted and the realized interest rates

- 3/12 is the 3 month period from month 3 to 6

- Finally, we divide by the current interest rate for 3 months to present value the payment from month 6 to month 3)

Question #4

A 'short squeeze' refers to a situation where

A short squeeze results when short sellers are trying to cover their short positions by buying in the spot markets, which do not have adequate supply. This results in sharp spikes in spot prices, which further forces any other shorts to try cut their losses. The result is a sharp rise in spot prices.

Choice 'a' is the correct answer, the other choices do not describe a short squeeze.

Question #5

Calculate the settlement amount for a buyer of a 3 x 6 FRA with a notional of $1m and contract rate of 5%. Assume settlement rate is 6%.

An m x n FRA is an agreement to borrow money for a period starting at time m and ending at time n at the contracted rate. Therefore, the buyer of the 3 x 6 FRA has committed to borrow $1m at the beginning of 3 months and return it at the end of 6 months, ie a total borrowing period of 3 months at a rate of 5%. Of course, the $1m is never actually exchanged, and at the beginning of the 3 month period when the next three months' interest rate is known (6%), the parties merely exchange the difference in the interest. SInce this interest was only due at the end of the 6 months and is being exchanged at the 3 month time point, it will have to be discounted to its present value.

The correct answer to this question is =(1,000,000 * (6% - 5%) * 3/12)/(1 + (6%*3/12))=$2463.05. Since interest rates rose, the borrower gained as he has the right to borrow at a lower rate, and therefore the seller will pay the borrower.

(Here:

- $1m is the notional

- 6% - 5% represents the difference between the contracted and the realized interest rates

- 3/12 is the 3 month period from month 3 to 6

- Finally, we divide by the current interest rate for 3 months to present value the payment from month 6 to month 3)

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