Joseph Cherian- Professor of Finance Practice) Director, Centre for Asset Management Research & Investments (CAMRI) NUS Business School

CAMRI Director's Message


Dear Readers,


As we reflect on our student and industry outreach activities, applied research and teaching over the last six months, we can’t help but marvel at how so much got done at CAMRI with so few people and resources! The credit truly belongs to our dedicated staff, work-study students, research analysts, and non-stipendiary visiting research fellows who’ve devoted their time, talent and effort to make things happen and to make a difference at CAMRI. We’ve published one thought leadership piece and two monthly research digests, hosted a highly popular MBA-level Private Equity course taught by a CAMRI board member, had a Fireside Chat (minus the fire) with Citadel’s legendary founder, Ken Griffin, and our faculty opined, were interviewed or quoted in various business dailies and news shows. We also witnessed the launch of the live Student Managed Fund (CAMRI Managed Portfolio Pte Ltd), in addition to the good 11-month risk-adjusted performance of the SMF paper portfolio that our students and staff have been maintaining since 30 April 2012.

We hope you will take a few minutes to review and enjoy CAMRI’s latest e-Newsletter, which not only have summaries of our activities provided below, but also convenient clickable web-links to the associated full articles and commentaries.

Do enjoy reading this issue of our e-Newsletter!

Thought Leadership
Esteemed Guest Lecture Series
Past Events
Research Projects
Camri in the News
Upcoming Events


Thought Leadership

CAMRI Monthly Research Digest: Global Perspectives

CAMRI Global Perspectives is a brand new, monthly digest of market research & views by Dr. Brian Fabbri, Visiting Research Fellow at CAMRI & President of FABBRI Global Economics.

April 2013: Trade over Conflict
Historians have often theorized that most wars throughout history have been fought over economics rather than ideology, politics or religion. Today’s most pressing and dangerous international disputes in Asia are also mainly about economics, namely, rich undersea resources. With so much of the Asian economic miracle presently at stake, and with only unproven future economic resources under the sea, rational and pragmatic Asian countries should find a convenient solution to suppress political disagreements and maintain valuable trade relationships over conflict.

March 2013: Japan Chooses Inflation
The recent simultaneous monetary and fiscal policy measures of the newly elected Japanese central government and the Bank of Japan, namely, the setting of a 2% inflation target, monetary injections geared at weakening the yen, as well as government investment in infrastructure building, look well-positioned to overturn deflation and boost the Japanese economy. However, weaker demand for Japanese products from its key export markets – China, the US and Europe stands as a potential damper to its economic growth.

Market Outlook Series at CAMRI

Our new thought-provoking and timely pieces carrying the perspectives, views and outlooks of various NUS Business School and CAMRI-associated authors as they relate to markets, the economy, asset classes and calculus.

The Interest Rate Conundrum: Interest Rates Are Too Low
by Brian Fabbri (February 2013)

Dr Fabbri argues that the present aggressive and unconventional monetary policy carried out by many advanced countries’ Central Banks has created a distortion in global financial markets: money is plentiful and practically costless, and interest rates throughout the world are too low. Couple this with the ageing population phenomenon, it raises serious questions about the financial viability of existing pension and social security systems. The immutable demographic changes and today’s extremely low interest rates will result in daunting financial challenges in the future, both for survivors and for governments. If interest rates persist at such low levels there will not be enough funds saved in public or private funds to maintain benefits at the rate they are presently promised. Those in the working age groups will probably have to consume less than they would under a steady state of growth scenario, leading governments to make many unpopular economic decisions that could eventually create social strife.

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Esteemed Guest Lectures Series

BMA5313D Special Topics in Private Equity

by Ms Veronica Eng, CAMRI Board Member

Ms Veronica Eng delivered a course in Private Equity for our MBA-level students in January 2013. Ms Eng has over 25 years of experience in private equity at Permira Advisers LLP, which is headquartered in London. She is a founding partner of Permira Advisers, which is one of the largest and most experienced European-based private equity firms with a global reach, operating from 12 offices across Europe, US and Asia. She is also an active member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Asset Management Research & Investments (CAMRI) at NUS Business School.

Besides learning from Ms Eng’s wealth of experience in the Private Equity arena, more than 40 NUS Business School’s MBA-level students got a chance to learn directly from distinguished visiting CEOs and senior private equity executives from Europe and Asia, including Singapore, which some are billing as being taught by a Private Equity ‘Dream Team’.

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Past Events

Here are some of the highlights from CAMRI’s various activities including competition, speaker series and luncheons:

4th NUS Asian MBA Stock Pitch Competition

6–8 March 2013

4th NUS Asian MBA Stock Pitch Competition

From left: Mr Kapil Trikha (Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer, Southeast Asia, Morgan Stanley), Alfred, Naveen and Dennis

Our MBA students, Alfred Emmanuel Awe, Dennis Chu and Naveen K R, have emerged as runners up in the fourth NUS Asian MBA Stock Pitch Competition held at NUS Business School from Mar 6–8.

Organised by CAMRI, the event attracted MBA teams from business schools across Asia, including the China Europe International Business School (finalist), Indian Institute of Management — Ahmedabad, Indian School of Business (finalist), International University of Japan, Korea University Business School, Melbourne Business School, SP Jain Institute of Management & Research — Bombay, and Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology team took the top spot.

The annual Asian SPC, which is fully funded and judged by members of the financial industry, is held in partnership with The Parker Center for Investment Research at The Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

A video on Finals presentation can be found on the CAMRI website. For viewing 3-day competition’s photos, please click here.

CAIA Singapore Chapter and NUS Business School (CAMRI) Joint Educational Event

27 February 2013

As part of the NUS Business School – CAIA Partnership, CAMRI Visiting Research Fellow, Dr Brian Fabbri, Managing Director of FABBRI Global Economics, spoke on “The Financial Fallout from Global Political Turmoil” at the CAIA Singapore Chapter and NUS Business School (CAMRI) Joint Educational Event. A recent survey of global investment fund managers revealed that they are more optimistic and taking on more risk in their portfolios than any time since the last recession. However, forecasts for 2013 world economic growth are not supporting their investment optimism. Moreover, political turmoil adds another dimension of risk to investment portfolios and to business optimism. Economic conditions in the developed world look slightly better than they did at this time last year, however economic growth in the US, UK, EU and Japan is expected to be much less than normal as the cyclical recovery lags and fiscal austerity decreases growth prospects. Since financial markets are highly synchronized, country specific risks will easily spread throughout the world. Dr Fabbri discussed several outstanding political risks that will have some effect upon global economic growth and investment returns in 2013. He also provided five specific investment themes in light of the current global economic, business and political conditions. Dr Fabbri’s talk was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Professor Joseph Cherian of CAMRI. Around 40 members of the CAIA local chapter attended this event.

CAMRI Luncheon Forum with Professor Charles Lee: “Whistle Blowers, Opportunists or Market Manipulators? The Case of Chinese Reverse Mergers”

17 January 2013

As short-sellers make headlines around the world, Professor Lee empirically examines if Chinese Reverse Merger firms (RMs), which tend to be small and illiquid stocks that are highly prone to default and/or bankruptcy risk, are inherently toxic or victims of somewhat overblown accusations by not so well-intentioned short-sellers. For example, China’s official news service claimed foreign short-sellers targeting Chinese companies listed in the U.S. are engaged in a “malicious act”, primarily because many high-profiled research reports on RMs were first put out by short-sellers. Around 30 practitioners attended the Forum and participated in the post-Forum discussion.

CAMRI Luncheon Forum with Professor Charles Lee

Fireside Lunch Dialogue with Mr Kenneth


16 November 2012

CAMRI had the distinct pleasure of hosting Mr Kenneth Griffin, the Founder and CEO of Citadel, to a Fireside Lunch Dialogue on Friday, 16 November 2012 at The Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. Close to 30 specially-invited Friends & Donors of CAMRI were invited to this event.

Ken dialogued with us – amongst other things – about his entrepreneurial experience founding and managing Citadel over the years, his views on the US economy and markets, and his prognosis on the global economy vis-à-vis the Euro debt crisis. He also discussed his New York Times article published on 26 June 2012 entitled, “To Save the Euro, Leave It” where he proposes a better, bolder and, until now, almost inconceivable solution: that Germany exits the Euro and reintroduces the Deutsche Mark so as to allow troubled economies, especially those of Greece, Italy and Spain, the financial & fiscal flexibility they need to stabilize themselves.

Fireside Lunch Dialogue with Mr Kenneth Griffin

Ken Griffin advising Germany to leave the Euro

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Reasearch Projects

Student Managed Fund / Performance

A live Student Managed Fund (SMF) was just launched in March 2013. It is the culmination of CAMRI’s Student Managed Fund track, which is part of CAMRI’s core mission of impactful, experiential education. The Student Managed Fund Track consists of portfolio management classes taught in an applied research setting within the CAMRI Lab, using leading-edge databases such as Bloomberg and MSCI Barra. The students are trained in all aspects of portfolio management, ranging from fundamental research & investment thesis generation, financial modeling, trade execution, risk management & monitoring, dealing with counterparties to day-to-day operational duties. These duties provide our students with a holistic view of portfolio management, and will enable them to become well-trained, responsible fiduciary managers with a strong sense of integrity and ethical awareness.

In preparation of the launch of the live SMF, CAMRI has been managing and monitoring a quantitative long / short equity market neutral SMF paper portfolio on Bloomberg since 30 April 2012. The SMF paper portfolio’s performance since inception to 31 March 2013 (11 months) has been 12.4%

Please visit the CAMRI Student Managed Fund (SMF) – Paper Portfolio performance and risk end-March 2013 report for more details on the SMF paper portfolio’s performance to date.

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Camri in the News

Inflation indexing missing in CPF Life
Comment from Prof Joseph Cherian, Director at CAMRI, on why government inflation-indexed bonds are a necessity and how CPF Life can be improved with an inflation-indexing feature.

The Straits Times (Tuesday, 2 April 2013)

Yuan clearing bank a plus for Singapore
Comment from Prof Joseph Cherian, Director at CAMRI, on the ability to transact renminbi business right out of the Republic will burnish its reputation as a global financial hub.

The Business Times (Tuesday, 19 March 2013)

Singapore banks likely to drop Malaysia FX reference rate
Features comments from Prof Joseph Cherian, Director at CAMRI, about the possible plan by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) to end the daily publication of the ringgit reference rate.

The Straits Times, New Sarawak Tribune, Oriental Daily News, Reuters,, Yahoo! Finance Singapore and Business Standard (Thursday, 14 March 2013)

Business Singapore: MAS mulls Sibor future
Features an interview with Assoc Prof Sumit Agarwal
(Research Director at CAMRI) on the implications of dropping Sibor, following reports that the Monetary Authority of Singapore is considering such a move.

Channel NewsAsia (Monday, 18 February 2013)

Squawk Box: Singapore’s MAS investigates possible rate-rigging of ASEAN currencies
Features an interview with Assoc Prof Sumit Agarwal (Research Director at CAMRI) on the implications of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s probe into rate fixing.

CNBC Asia (Tuesday, 5 February 2013)

Currency-fixing probe rattles Singapore
Features comments from Prof Joseph Cherian, Director at CAMRI.

Financial Times (Friday, 1 February 2013)

Regional banks see jump in merger and acquisition activities
Features comments from Assoc Prof Sumit Agarwal, Research Director at CAMRI. (Friday, 2 November 2012)



Please read the more detailed CAMRI-related news articles here:



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Camri in the News

CAMRI Board of Directors Meeting, Singapore
10 May 2013

ABFER-CAMRI Industry Leadership Roundtable, Singapore “Investing in Asia: Research & Practice”
24 May 2013

CAMRI Luncheon Forum with Nobel laureate Robert C. Merton, Singapore
End-June 2013

The 5th Wee Cho Yaw Singapore-China Finance and Banking Forum, Shanghai , China
“China’s Asset Management Industry: The Opportunities And Challenges”

31 July 2013

CAMRI Asset Owners Dialogue, Beijing, China
14 October 2013

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