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Business School students win Chartered Financial Analysts Competition

12 Oct 2011

An outstanding team of students from the University of Sydney Business School has gained top marks in the inaugural equity analysis and recommendation competition run by Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Sydney.

Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Law students; George Hadjia, Daniel Wu, Murphy Xue, Tobias Hasbani and Yi Justin Zuo beat out five other teams to take the top honours.

The contest saw university students form teams to analyse a particular listed company, produce an equity research note and formulate a view. The entrants presented their findings to a panel of judges from the funds management industry who then selected a winner.

Each year the society hand-picks a listed company for students to analyse. This year the Sydney Society asked students to explore the fortunes of Fairfax media. Two of the teams placed a "buy" rating on Fairfax while three joined the Sydney team on placing a "sell" or "reduce" on the stock.

The teams examined whether the current Fairfax share price represented value as well as the company's ability to manage the structural decline of print media and migration to online, the rationale behind its divestment strategy and the company's prospects in an uncertain macro-economic environment.

The Sydney team placed a "Sell" on the stock because it held concerns about the ability of the company to transition in media where margins are lower while uncertainty about the strength of consumer spending presented further challenges.

The students were entered to the competition and mentored throughout the process by their finance lecturer, Angelo Aspris. He said the team had performed extraordinarily well and were a credit to the Business School and the University.

"The judges were impressed with the quality of research that had gone into the report and the results were very well received by the industry participants in the room on the night. Excitingly, some of the team have received job offers as a direct result of what the fund managers witnessed during the presentations."

The team will now progress to the Asia Pacific Regional Finals in Hong Kong in February 2012.