Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Finance Related Abstracts

27 The Impact of HRM Practices and Brand Performance on Financial Institution Performance: An Empirical Study

Authors: M. Khasro Miah, Chowdhury Hossan Golam, Muhammed Siddique Hossain

Abstract:

Recently, financial institution brand image is turning out to be pretty weak due to the presence of strong local competitors and this in term is affecting their firm performance also. In this study, four major HR practices, namely employee commitment, empowerment, loyalty, and engagement are considered in order to measure its effects on the brand and financial performance of banking organization. This study finds that the banking institutions of Bangladesh are more customer oriented rather than internal employee oriented, which makes it quite obvious that the internal HR practices will have little or no effect on the banks brand performance. Employee Commitment has emerged out to be the most important predictor, followed by employee loyalty and empowerment. The employees are well-empowered, engaged, and shows loyalty towards the organization, but their activities are not well linked with the brand. Firms should concentrate to create a congenial working atmosphere and employees should feel like a part of the organization.

Keywords: Finance, Empowerment, HR in bank, employee commitment, loyalty and engagement

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26 Numerical Methods versus Bjerksund and Stensland Approximations for American Options Pricing

Authors: Marasovic Branka, Aljinovic Zdravka, Poklepovic Tea

Abstract:

Numerical methods like binomial and trinomial trees and finite difference methods can be used to price a wide range of options contracts for which there are no known analytical solutions. American options are the most famous of that kind of options. Besides numerical methods, American options can be valued with the approximation formulas, like Bjerksund-Stensland formulas from 1993 and 2002. When the value of American option is approximated by Bjerksund-Stensland formulas, the computer time spent to carry out that calculation is very short. The computer time spent using numerical methods can vary from less than one second to several minutes or even hours. However to be able to conduct a comparative analysis of numerical methods and Bjerksund-Stensland formulas, we will limit computer calculation time of numerical method to less than one second. Therefore, we ask the question: Which method will be most accurate at nearly the same computer calculation time?

Keywords: Finance, Numerical Methods, Computational analysis, Bjerksund and Stensland approximations, options pricing

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25 Analyzing the Empirical Link between Islamic Finance and Growth of Real Output: A Time Series Application to Pakistan

Authors: Nazima Ellahi, Danish Ramzan

Abstract:

There is a growing trend among development economists regarding the importance of financial sector for economic development and growth activities. The development thus introduced, helps to promote welfare effects and poverty alleviation. This study is an attempt to find the nature of link between Islamic banking financing and development of output growth for Pakistan. Time series data set has been utilized for a time period ranging from 1990 to 2010. Following the Phillip Perron (PP) and Augmented Dicky Fuller (ADF) test of unit root this study applied Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) method of estimation and found encouraging results in favor of promoting the Islamic banking practices in Pakistan.

Keywords: Commerce, Finance, Islamic Finance, Economic growth, Poverty Alleviation

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24 Hotel and Service Industry in USA: Is It Leveraged? Case Study of Seven Important Hotel Chains

Authors: Azadeh Shahbazi

Abstract:

This study tries to find out the determinants of capital structure in hotel industry in 7 important hotel chains in USA within the period of 12 years of 2000 to 2012. The study is used a panel pooled regression to realize the relation among different variables. Results show that the variables which could make changes in the capital structure of firms are Non-Debt Tax Shield and Tangibility.

Keywords: Finance, hospitality, Capital Structure, Service Industry

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23 Predisposition of Small Scale Businesses in Fagge, Kano State, Nigeria, Towards Profit and Loss Sharing Mode of Finance

Authors: Farida, M. Shehu, Shehu U. R. Aliyu

Abstract:

Access to finance has been recognized in the literature as one of the major impediments confronting small scale businesses (SSBs). This largely arises due to high lending rate, religious inclinations, collateral, etc. Islamic mode finance operates under Profit and Loss Sharing (PLS) arrangement between a borrower (business owner) and a lender (Islamic bank). This paper empirically assesses the determinants of predisposition of small scale business operators in Fagge local government area, Kano State, Nigeria, towards the PLS. Cross-sectional data from a sample of 291 small scale business operators was analyzed using logit and probit regression models. Empirical results reveal that while awareness and religion inclination positively drive interest towards the PLS, lending rate and collateral work against it. The paper, therefore, strongly recommends more advocacy campaigns and setting up of more Islamic banks in the country to cater for the financing and religious needs of SSBs in the study area.

Keywords: Commerce, Finance, Islamic Finance, logit and probit models, profit and loss sharing small scale businesses

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22 The Development of Small and Medium Enterprise Entrepreneurs’ Potential Based on Sufficiency Economics Philosophy

Authors: Luedech Girdwichai, Witthaya Mekhum

Abstract:

This research analyses the factors affecting the success and develops a guideline for self- reliance planning of the entrepreneurs for effective implementation. Samples in this study included 42 awarded winners from the 2nd Sufficiency Economics Philosophy (SEP) National Contest arranged by Office of the Royal Development Projects Board. The results revealed 4 main factors affecting the success as follows: 1) there is a need to encourage unity and cooperation in the enterprise in conducting development plan. 2) The entrepreneur must be a knowledge seeker and lead by example on SEP life. 3) The entrepreneur must be able to apply traditional local wisdom with his present experience and knowledge in defining product identity. 4) The entrepreneur should provide career training for the staffs to develop their competencies. The guideline for self-reliance planning consisted of 4 aspects: 1) Human resource development: the enterprise should develop its staffs especially on integrity, honesty, and public minded. 2) Local community development: there should be a clear target for the local community development. 3) Local community economic development: by encouraging additional incomes through experience sharing. 4) Enterprise development planning: by arranging monthly meeting to conduct the development plan including analysing problems and synthesizing data.

Keywords: Finance, Management, potential development, SME entrepreneurs, sufficiency economics philosophy

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21 Financial Market Turmoil and Performance of Islamic Equity Indices

Authors: Abul Shamsuddin

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The Islamic stock market indices are constructed by screening out stocks that are incompatible with Islam’s prohibition of interest and certain lines of business. This study examines the effects of Islamic screening on the risk-return characteristics of Islamic vis-a-vis mainstream equity portfolios. We use data on Dow Jones Islamic market indices and FTSE Global Islamic indices over 1993-2013. We observe that Islamic equity indices outperform their mainstream counterparts in both raw and risk-adjusted returns. In addition, Islamic equity indices are more resilient to turbulence in international markets than that of their mainstream counterparts. The findings are robust across a variety of portfolio performance measures.

Keywords: Finance, Dow Jones Islamic market index, FTSE global Islamic index, ethical investment

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20 Technology Transfer and FDI: Some Lessons for Tunisia

Authors: Assaad Ghazouani, Hedia Teraoui

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The purpose of this article is to try to see if the FDI actually contributes to technology transfer in Tunisia or are there other sources that can guarantee this transfer? The answer to this problem was gradual as we followed an approach using economic theory, the reality of Tunisia and econometric and statistical tools. We examined the relationship between technology transfer and FDI in Tunisia over a period of 40 years from 1970 to 2010. We estimated in two stages: first, a growth equation, then we have learned from this regression residue (proxy technology), secondly, we regressed on European FDI, exports of manufactures, imports of goods from the European Union in addition to other variables to test the robustness of the results and describing the level of infrastructure in the country. It follows from our study that technology transfer does not originate primarily and exclusively in the FDI and the latter is econometrically weakly with technology transfer and spill over effect of FDI does not seem to occur according to our results. However, the relationship between technology transfer and imports is negative and significant. Although this result is cons-intuitive, is recurrent in the literature of panel data. It has also given rise to intense debate on the microeconomic modelling as well as on the empirical applications. Technology transfer through trade or foreign investment has become a catalyst for growth recognized by numerous empirical studies in particular. However, the relationship technology transfer FDI is more complex than it appears. This complexity is due, primarily, but not exclusively to the close link between FDI and the characteristics of the host country. This is essentially the host's responsibility to establish general conditions, transparent and conducive to investment, and to strengthen human and institutional capacity necessary for foreign capital flows that can have real effects on growth.

Keywords: Economics, Finance, Technology Transfer, Foreign Direct Investment

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19 The Tense Dichotomy Between Shari'ah Compliance and the Goals of an Economic Bank

Authors: Camille Paldi

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The tense dichotomy between Shari’ah compliance and the economic goals of an Islamic Bank produces a proliferation of reverse engineered products, which are barely in compliance with Islamic law. The result is basically a hybrid conventional banking system with conventional products in Islamic disguise using Arabic and Islamic terminology. Many Islamic financial professionals and academics advocate for the use of conventional products and devices despite their non-Shari’ah compliance based on commercial necessity and the need to compete. However, this dangerous trend will lead to the demise of the Islamic finance industry. Rather than thoughtlessly following conventional products and practice, Islamic finance professionals should delve into the Shari’ah to find the answers to the current Islamic banking conundrum and lead the industry on the right path of developing Shari’ah based products and using Shari’ah devices to hedge risk.

Keywords: Finance, Islamic Banking, Investment, Shari'ah

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18 Dividend Initiations and IPO Long-Run Performance

Authors: Nithi Sermsiriviboon, Somchai Supattarakul

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Dividend initiations are an economically significant event that has important implications for a firm’s future financial capacity. Given that the market’s expectation of a consistent payout, managers of IPO firms must approach the initial dividend decision cautiously. We compare the long run performance of IPO firms that initiated dividends with those of similarly matched non-payers. We found that firms which initiated dividends perform significantly better up to three years after the initiation date. Moreover, we measure investor reactions by 2-day around dividend announcement date cumulative abnormal return. We evidence no statistically significant differences between cumulative abnormal returns (CAR) of IPO firms and cumulative abnormal returns of Non-IPO firms, indicating that investors do not respond to dividend announcement of IPO firms more than they do to the dividend announcement of Non-IPO firms.

Keywords: Finance, dividend, initial public offerings, long-run performance

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17 Assessing Finance by Ethnic Entrepreneurs in United Kingdom and Policy Implication

Authors: Aliyu Aminu Baba

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Ethnic entrepreneurship is defined as a set of connections and regular patterns of interaction among people sharing common national background or migration experience. The disadvantage faced by ethnic minority on paid labour induced them to become self-employed. Also, enclaves motivates trading, creativity, innovation are all to provide specific service or products to certain people. These ethnic minorities are African –Caribbean, Indians, Pakistanis, Banghaladashi and Chinese. For policy development ethnic diversity was among the problem of developing policy in United Kingdom. The study finds that there is a danger in treating all ethnic minority businesses as homogeneous rather than heterogeneous. The diversity is due to religious beliefs, culture and race. This indicates that there is a wide range have shortfall in addressing the peculiarities of ethnic minority businesses in policy formulation. Also, there are differences between ethnic minorities in accessing finance. It is recommended that diversity and peculiarities between ethnic minorities should be considered in policy formulation.

Keywords: Finance, Diversity, Ethnic Entrepreneurship, policy implication

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16 The Major Challenge of the Health System Health Management Services in Kosovo and Impact on Satisfaction

Authors: Nevruz Zogu, Shpetim Rezniqi

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In the framework of transformational economic development social pluralism and the free, market health systems operating in the countries of our region are naturally involved in a process of profound change and reform. Health systems actually represent complex ensembles centers and public and private institutions (domestic and foreign), who administer substantial amounts of human, technological, material, financial, information and scientific facts • The goal of health systems is much more than medical care. It includes the promotion, protection, treatment and rehabilitation of health of the population. • Meeting the needs of increasingly diverse broader health services efficient, secure the quality and affordability of their increasing cost of unstoppable, requires the necessary reform of health systems and implementing policies and new management methods, to ensure effectiveness and health benefits as higher population.

Keywords: Finance, Management, Health, Economy

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15 Diversifying Income Streams in Portuguese Higher Education – a Multiple Case Study

Authors: Ana Nascimento

Abstract:

For several reasons and in different countries worldwide, there is an increasing difficulty of the States to finance higher education. However, most societies consider education as a public good, so it should be a State obligation to provide this service to citizens. In Portugal, over the last decades, state has diminished its contribution to public higher education and the public higher education institutions started to look for alternative incoming sources, namely charging student’s taxes and fees, provision of services to companies, production of applied research, search for sponsors, configuring new forms of fundraising. This financial policy can raise some concerns to the scientific and pedagogical autonomy of these institutions as well as concerns in access and equity in higher education. For these reasons and in the scope of a PhD research in the area of Economy of Education, a survey is taking place in all public higher education institutions in the Great Lisbon area that intends to analyze and discuss the policy measures in each institution in the search for external financing. The research aims to understand what these measures are and what implications they might have in the institution’s autonomy as well as in higher education access by students from less favored backgrounds. The research uses a qualitative approach, namely through semi-structured interviews to presidents, directors and rectors of each institution, totalizing 50 interviews. In this paper are discussed some of the results from the interviews made so far that present the subjects opinion about higher education finance, the right to education, the search for fundraising and the possible consequences to the institution’s autonomy as well as some literature on the state of the art.

Keywords: Higher Education, Finance, Autonomy, public goods

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14 Financial Policies in the Process of Global Crisis: Case Study Kosovo, Case Kosovo

Authors: Shpetim Rezniqi

Abstract:

Financial Policies in the process of global crisis the current crisis has swept the world with special emphasis, most developed countries, those countries which have most gross -product world and you have a high level of living.Even those who are not experts can describe the consequences of the crisis to see the reality that is seen, but how far will it go this crisis is impossible to predict. Even the biggest experts have conjecture and large divergence, but agree on one thing: - The devastating effects of this crisis will be more severe than ever before and can not be predicted.Long time, the world was dominated economic theory of free market laws. With the belief that the market is the regulator of all economic problems. The market, as river water will flow to find the best and will find the necessary solution best. Therefore much less state market barriers, less state intervention and market itself is an economic self-regulation. Free market economy became the model of global economic development and progress, it transcends national barriers and became the law of the development of the entire world economy. Globalization and global market freedom were principles of development and international cooperation. All international organizations like the World Bank, states powerful economic, development and cooperation principles laid free market economy and the elimination of state intervention. The less state intervention much more freedom of action was this market- leading international principle. We live in an era of financial tragic. Financial markets and banking in particular economies are in a state of thy good, US stock markets fell about 40%, in other words, this time, was one of the darkest moments 5 since 1920. Prior to her rank can only "collapse" of the stock of Wall Street in 1929, technological collapse of 2000, the crisis of 1973 after the Yom Kippur war, while the price of oil quadrupled and famous collapse of 1937 / '38, when Europe was beginning World war II In 2000, even though it seems like the end of the world was the corner, the world economy survived almost intact. Of course, that was small recessions in the United States, Europe, or Japan. Much more difficult the situation was at crisis 30s, or 70s, however, succeeded the world. Regarding the recent financial crisis, it has all the signs to be much sharper and with more consequences. The decline in stock prices is more a byproduct of what is really happening. Financial markets began dance of death with the credit crisis, which came as a result of the large increase in real estate prices and household debt. It is these last two phenomena can be matched very well with the gains of the '20s, a period during which people spent fists as if there was no tomorrow. All is not away from the mouth of the word recession, that fact no longer a sudden and abrupt. But as much as the financial markets melt, the greater is the risk of a problematic economy for years to come. Thus, for example, the banking crisis in Japan proved to be much more severe than initially expected, partly because the assets which were based more loans had, especially the land that falling in value. The price of land in Japan is about 15 years that continues to fall. (ADRI Nurellari-Published in the newspaper "Classifieds"). At this moment, it is still difficult to çmosh to what extent the crisis has affected the economy and what would be the consequences of the crisis. What we know is that many banks will need more time to reduce the award of credit, but banks have this primary function, this means huge loss.

Keywords: Finance, Bank, Globalisation, Crisis, credits, recomandation

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13 Business Ethics in Islam: Making Islamic Banking Attractive for the Customers Round the Globe

Authors: Fahad Ahmed Qureshi

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Is it essential for a Muslim businessperson and employees of Islamic financial institutions not only in Islamic Banks to perform his/her actions ethically in a universally, competing habitat? The answer is an emphatic NO! in Islam, ethics conduct all departments of life. The orders for eternal success or falah in Islam are the same for all Muslims–whether in managing their business activities or in carrying out their routine affairs. Without designating any circumstantial ambience, Allah specify people who achieve success as those who are “inviting to all that is good (Khayr), enjoining what is right (Ma'ruf) and forbidding what is wrong (Munkar).” Within a business context, however, what sole axioms of regimen should a company follow? What is a Muslim businessperson’s encumbrance to internal and external stakeholders? Although an organization’s top executives may display sterling ethical behavior, how can middle- and lower-level managers be enthusiastic to perform in a correspondingly ethical manner? What are some protocols that would clinch persistent ethical behavior in a Muslim business?

Keywords: Business, Finance, Islam, Ethics

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12 Islamic Banking and Finance in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Ya'u Saidu

Abstract:

The introduction of the non-interest banking system in Nigeria was part of the regulators efforts to increase the inclusion of other stakeholders into the financial sector who have stayed out of the sector for some reasons. However, the concept has been misunderstood by various stakeholders within the country where some view it as a Muslim affair which exclude the non-Muslims from gaining despite its existence in advance countries of the world. This paper attempts to fill-in the gap created by the literature especially with regards to the proper education and enlightenment of the Nigerian citizens. Survey research method was employed where primary data was collected using questionnaire and convenience sampling was used to select 100 respondents. The data was analysed using Chi-square. It was found that lack of knowledge on Islamic banking has significant effect on its prospects.

Keywords: Finance, Sustainability, enlightenment, non-interest

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11 Equity, Bonds, Institutional Debt and Economic Growth: Evidence from South Africa

Authors: Ashenafi Beyene Fanta, Daniel Makina

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Economic theory predicts that finance promotes economic growth. Although the finance-growth link is among the most researched areas in financial economics, our understanding of the link between the two is still incomplete. This is caused by, among others, wrong econometric specifications, using weak proxies of financial development, and inability to address the endogeneity problem. Studies on the finance growth link in South Africa consistently report economic growth driving financial development. Early studies found that economic growth drives financial development in South Africa, and recent studies have confirmed this using different econometric models. However, the monetary aggregate (i.e. M2) utilized used in these studies is considered a weak proxy for financial development. Furthermore, the fact that the models employed do not address the endogeneity problem in the finance-growth link casts doubt on the validity of the conclusions. For this reason, the current study examines the finance growth link in South Africa using data for the period 1990 to 2011 by employing a generalized method of moments (GMM) technique that is capable of addressing endogeneity, simultaneity and omitted variable bias problems. Unlike previous cross country and country case studies that have also used the same technique, our contribution is that we account for the development of bond markets and non-bank financial institutions rather than being limited to stock market and banking sector development. We find that bond market development affects economic growth in South Africa, and no similar effect is observed for the bank and non-bank financial intermediaries and the stock market. Our findings show that examination of individual elements of the financial system is important in understanding the unique effect of each on growth. The observation that bond markets rather than private credit and stock market development promotes economic growth in South Africa induces an intriguing question as to what unique roles bond markets play that the intermediaries and equity markets are unable to play. Crucially, our results support observations in the literature that using appropriate measures of financial development is critical for policy advice. They also support the suggestion that individual elements of the financial system need to be studied separately to consider their unique roles in advancing economic growth. We believe that our understanding of the channels through which bond market contribute to growth would be a fertile ground for future research.

Keywords: Finance, Growth, bond market, financial sector

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10 Influence of Information Technology on Financial Management Practices in Secondary School: For National Transormation in Zone C Senatorional District of Benue State

Authors: Eru Ihie Joel

Abstract:

This study was carried out to investigate the influence of information technology on financial management practice in secondary schools for transformation. In Zone C Senatorial District of Benue state. The study answered four research questions and tested four hypotheses. Related literature was reviewed to show the gap to be filled in the study. The population was 196 respondents made up of principals and finance clerks of secondary schools. The descriptive survey was adopted for the study. A structured 20 item questionnaire (IITFMPSQ) was constructed and used to collect date for the study. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistic. Mean and standard deviation were used to analyze the research question while the chi- square (x2) test of goodness of fit was used to test the hypothesis. The major findings revealed that the use of computer system significantly influences budgeting in secondary schools in zone senatorial district of Benue State for transformation. It was also established that the use of internet facilities influences the funding of secondary schools for transformation in the zone. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among other things that administrators and teachers in schools should be trained to make effective use of the computer in budgeting so as to facilitate delegations, control, evaluation, accountability for transformation. It was further suggested that the study be replicated on the effective use of information communication teaching (ITC) in teaching and learning in secondary school for transformation.

Keywords: Finance, Management, Technology, influence

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9 A Qualitative Analysis of People Views of Microfinance in Lebanon

Authors: Ali Abu Ali, Mohammad Salhab

Abstract:

Introduction: In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) microfinance struggles to find momentum. The Lebanese economy has been struggling through the years due to domestic and external, political and social instability. Although as of 2014 there are around 23 MFIs that are mainly subsidized by the USAID, operating in the country, the Lebanese microfinance market is mostly dominated by three microfinance institutions: Al Majmoua, Vitas, and Al Quard Al Hassan Association. Methodology: A quantitative approach using a standardized questionnaire would analyse the perception of the average Lebanese towards microfinance. A questionnaire was designed and validated. Results: Almost half of the respondents earn a monthly income ranged between $100 and $600. Almost 52% of the respondents were university graduates, around 25% finished secondary and high school, and 12% hold a masters or MBA degree. Topic understanding towards microfinance differs across Lebanese areas. The highest percentage of respondents who claim that microfinance offers financial services to low income people are the residents of Beirut (35.1%), Bekaa (30.8%), and South of Lebanon (24.7%). Higher levels of topic understanding were associated with lower levels of age range. Al Quard el Hassan foundation was regarded as the most known micro financial institution operating in Lebanon. In general, Lebanese people tend to believe that microfinance can play an important role in reducing unemployment rates and poverty levels in Lebanon. When people were asked what would motivate you to get a loan from MFIs, most of the respondent (57.4%) across all the Lebanese region claimed that it was the need for money to satisfy a need such as paying back a loan, to fix something at home, or for self-consideration like buying a car. Conclusion: Our findings showed that in general Lebanese tend to have a positive perception towards microfinance. However, most Lebanese perceive microfinance as the process of just providing loans without specifying for whom it is intended. We advise that government introduces laws to regulate the microfinance market.

Keywords: Economics, Business, Finance, Analysis, Theory, Microfinance

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8 The Effectiveness of Electronic Local Financial Management Information System (ELFMIS) in Mempawah Regency, West Borneo Province, Indonesia

Authors: Muhadam Labolo, Afdal R. Anwar, Sucia Miranti Sipisang

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Electronic Local Finance Management Information System (ELFMIS) is integrated application that was used as a tool for local governments to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the various areas of financial management regulations. Appropriate With Exceptions Opinion (WDP) of Indonesia Audit Agency (BPK) for local governments Mempawah is a financial management problem that must be improved to avoid mistakes in decision-making. The use of Electronic Local Finance Management Information System (ELFMIS) by Mempawah authority has not yet performed maximally. These problems became the basis for research in measuring the effectiveness LFMIS in Mempawah regency. This research uses an indicator variable for measuring information systems effectiveness proposed by Bodnar. This research made use descriptive with inductive approach. Data collection techniques were mixed from qualitative and quantitative techniques, used questionnaires, interviews and documentation. The obstacles in Local Finance Board (LFB) for the application of ELFMIS such as connection, the quality and quantity of human resources, realization of financial resources, absence of maintenance and another facilities of ELFMIS and verification for financial information.

Keywords: Finance, System, Local Government, Effectiveness, E-LFMIS

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7 Analyzing the Upcoming Changes in the Multi Brand E-commerce Industry with Specific Reference to the Indian Market

Authors: Shubham Banerjee

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The paper focuses on, how the business model of the Indian multi brand ecommerce industry is unstable and is headed towards an e-commerce bubble burst. Due to multiple players in the industry and little or no product differentiation, the Indian multi brand ecommerce industry has turned into an oligopoly market where there is hardly any brand loyalty of the customers. Companies have been rapidly increasing their selling cost in the forms of discounts and advertisements to retain and grow its customer base. This is resulting into higher revenues, but is driving the companies further away from their break-even point. With close to half a decade into the industry, none of the companies have been able to generate profits. With private investors losing patience and devaluing companies, the paper will throw light on how the multi brand e-commerce industry will change in the coming years.

Keywords: Finance, bubble burst, multi brand ecommerce, product differentiation, private investor

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6 Markowitz and Implementation of a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Technique Applied to the Colombia Stock Exchange (2009-2015)

Authors: Feijoo E. Colomine Duran, Carlos E. Peñaloza Corredor

Abstract:

There modeling component selection financial investment (Portfolio) a variety of problems that can be addressed with optimization techniques under evolutionary schemes. For his feature, the problem of selection of investment components of a dichotomous relationship between two elements that are opposed: The Portfolio Performance and Risk presented by choosing it. This relationship was modeled by Markowitz through a media problem (Performance) - variance (risk), ie must Maximize Performance and Minimize Risk. This research included the study and implementation of multi-objective evolutionary techniques to solve these problems, taking as experimental framework financial market equities Colombia Stock Exchange between 2009-2015. Comparisons three multiobjective evolutionary algorithms, namely the Nondominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II), the Strength Pareto Evolutionary Algorithm 2 (SPEA2) and Indicator-Based Selection in Multiobjective Search (IBEA) were performed using two measures well known performance: The Hypervolume indicator and R_2 indicator, also it became a nonparametric statistical analysis and the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The comparative analysis also includes an evaluation of the financial efficiency of the investment portfolio chosen by the implementation of various algorithms through the Sharpe ratio. It is shown that the portfolio provided by the implementation of the algorithms mentioned above is very well located between the different stock indices provided by the Colombia Stock Exchange.

Keywords: Finance, Optimization, Evolutionary Algorithms, Portfolio, Markowitz

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5 The Finance of Happiness: Thinking Finance from the Science of Happiness Perspective

Authors: Renaud Gaucher

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Research on happiness has developed significantly in the past fifty years and economics and the political science are starting to be influenced by advances in the field. Until recently, finance has stayed outside this movement. The goal of our research is to integrate finance into this movement conceptually. We explain the why, the what and the how of the finance of happiness. We then study the relationship between corporate finance and happiness. We discuss the optimization of the relationship between the financial performance of a firm and the happiness at work of its employees, and the reduction of financial risk by developing goods that foster the happiness of their users. Finally we look at the development of happiness investment funds, that is investment funds founded on happiness research, and the best ways to share risks and earnings to build a happier society.

Keywords: Finance, Risk, Happiness, investment fund

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4 Reinventing Business Education: Filling the Knowledge Gap on the Verge of the 4th Industrial Revolution

Authors: Elena Perepelova

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As the world approaches the 4th industrial revolution, income inequality has become one of the major societal concerns. Displacement of workers by technology becomes a reality, and in return, new skills and competencies are required. More important than ever, education needs to help individuals understand the wider world around them and make global connections. The author argues for the necessity to incorporate business, economics and finance studies as a part of primary education and offer access to business education to the general population with the primary objective to understand how the world functions. The paper offers a fresh look at existing business theory through an innovative program called 'Usefulnomics'. Realizing that the subject of Economics, Finance and Business are perceived as overwhelming for a large part of the population, the author has taken a holistic approach and created a program that simplifies the definitions of the existing concepts and shifts from the traditional breakdown into subjects and specialties to a teaching method that is based exclusively on real-life example case studies and group debates, in order to better grasp the concepts and put them into context. The paper findings are the result of a two-year project and experimental work with students from UK, USA, Malaysia, Russia, and Spain. The author conducted extensive research through on-line and in-person classes and workshops as well as in-depth interviews of primary and secondary grade students to assess their understanding of what is a business, how businesses operate and the role businesses play in their communities. The findings clearly indicate that students of all ages often understood business concepts and processes only in an intuitive way, which resulted in misconceptions and gaps in knowledge. While knowledge gaps were easier to identify and correct in primary school students, as students’ age increased, the learning process became distorted by career choices, political views, and the students’ actual (or perceived) economic status. While secondary school students recognized more concepts, their real understanding was often on par with upper primary school age students. The research has also shown that lack of correct vocabulary created a strong barrier to communication and real-life application or further learning. Based on these findings, each key business concept was practiced and put into context with small groups of students in order to design the content and format which would be well accepted and understood by the target group. As a result, the final learning program package was based on case studies from daily modern life and used a wide range of examples: from popular brands and well-known companies to basic commodities. In the final stage, the content and format were put into practice in larger classrooms. The author would like to share the key findings from the research, the resulting learning program as well as present new ideas on how the program could be further enriched and adapted so schools and organizations can deliver it.

Keywords: Economics, Business, Finance, lifelong learning, XXI century skills

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3 Analysis of Risks in Financing Agriculture a Case of Agricultural Cooperatives in Benue State, Nigeria

Authors: Odey Moses Ogah, Felix Terhemba Ikyereve

Abstract:

The study was carried out to analyzed risks in financing agriculture by agricultural cooperatives in Benue State, Nigeria. The study made use of research questionnaires for data collection. A multistage sampling technique was used to select a sample of 210 respondents from 21 agricultural cooperatives. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were employed in data analysis. Loan defaulting (66.7%) and reduction in savings by members (51.4%) were the major causes of risks faced by agricultural cooperatives in financing agriculture in the study area. Other causes include adverse changes in commodity prices (48.6%), disaster (45.7%), among others. It was found that risks adversely influence the profitability and competition of agricultural cooperatives (82.9%). Multiple regression analysis results showed that the coefficient of multiple determinations was 0.67, implying that the explanatory variables included in the model accounted for 67% of the variation in the level of profitability of agricultural cooperatives. The number of loans, average amount of loan and the interest rate were significant and important determinants of profitability of the cooperatives. The majority of the respondents (88.6%) made use of loan guarantors as a strategy of managing loan default/no repayment. It was found that the majority (70%) of the respondents were faced with the challenge of lack of insurance cover. The study recommends that agricultural cooperative officials should be encouraged to undergo formal training and education to easily acquire administrative skills in the management of agricultural loans; Farmer's loan size should be increased and released on time to enable them to use it effectively. Policies that enhance insuring farm activities should be put in place to discourage farmers from risk aversion.

Keywords: Finance, Analysis, Agriculture, Cooperative, risks

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2 Uncertainty and Multifunctionality as Bridging Concepts from Socio-Ecological Resilience to Infrastructure Finance in Water Resource Decision Making

Authors: Anita Lazurko, Laszlo Pinter, Jeremy Richardson

Abstract:

Uncertain climate projections, multiple possible development futures, and a financing gap create challenges for water infrastructure decision making. In contrast to conventional predict-plan-act methods, an emerging decision paradigm that enables social-ecological resilience supports decisions that are appropriate for uncertainty and leverage social, ecological, and economic multifunctionality. Concurrently, water infrastructure project finance plays a powerful role in sustainable infrastructure development but remains disconnected from discourse in socio-ecological resilience. At the time of research, a project to transfer water from Lesotho to Botswana through South Africa in the Orange-Senqu River Basin was at the pre-feasibility stage. This case was analysed through documents and interviews to investigate how uncertainty and multifunctionality are conceptualised and considered in decisions for the resilience of water infrastructure and to explore bridging concepts that might allow project finance to better enable socio-ecological resilience. Interviewees conceptualised uncertainty as risk, ambiguity and ignorance, and multifunctionality as politically-motivated shared benefits. Numerous efforts to adopt emerging decision methods that consider these terms were in use but required compromises to accommodate the persistent, conventional decision paradigm, though a range of future opportunities was identified. Bridging these findings to finance revealed opportunities to consider a more comprehensive scope of risk, to leverage risk mitigation measures, to diffuse risks and benefits over space, time and to diverse actor groups, and to clarify roles to achieve multiple objectives for resilience. In addition to insights into how multiple decision paradigms interact in real-world decision contexts, the research highlights untapped potential at the juncture between socio-ecological resilience and project finance.

Keywords: Finance, Multifunctionality, Uncertainty, socio-ecological resilience

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1 Machine Learning Strategies for Data Extraction from Unstructured Documents in Financial Services

Authors: Delphine Vendryes, Dushyanth Sekhar, Baojia Tong, Matthew Theisen, Chester Curme

Abstract:

Much of the data that inform the decisions of governments, corporations and individuals are harvested from unstructured documents. Data extraction is defined here as a process that turns non-machine-readable information into a machine-readable format that can be stored, for instance, in a database. In financial services, introducing more automation in data extraction pipelines is a major challenge. Information sought by financial data consumers is often buried within vast bodies of unstructured documents, which have historically required thorough manual extraction. Automated solutions provide faster access to non-machine-readable datasets, in a context where untimely information quickly becomes irrelevant. Data quality standards cannot be compromised, so automation requires high data integrity. This multifaceted task is broken down into smaller steps: ingestion, table parsing (detection and structure recognition), text analysis (entity detection and disambiguation), schema-based record extraction, user feedback incorporation. Selected intermediary steps are phrased as machine learning problems. Solutions leveraging cutting-edge approaches from the fields of computer vision (e.g. table detection) and natural language processing (e.g. entity detection and disambiguation) are proposed.

Keywords: Computer Vision, Finance, Machine Learning, Information Retrieval, natural language processing, Entity Recognition

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