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Financial Seminars

Global Finance Seminar Series: Can You Learn to Tame Market Volatility?
1 October 2010

A volatility index is being developed for the Hong Kong securities market. Volatility indices can contribute to the development of equity derivatives markets and are convenient tools for comparing the pricing of financial instruments. The most famous of them, the VIX, is known as the “fear gauge”. It tracks the rate of change of the S&P 500 Index and is used for assessing market risk. The VIX is an essential indicator carefully watched by professional investors the world over, whether for stocks or derivatives.


To help local financial specialists enhance their understanding of the VIX Index and its applications to the local securities market, the HKUST/NYU Stern Master of Science in Global Finance (MSGF) Program and the South China Morning Post jointly organized the fourth seminar of the Global Finance Seminar Series - “Can You Learn to Tame Market Volatility?”


Prof Stephen Figlewski, professor of finance at the Leonard N Stern School of Business at theNew York University, was keynote speaker at the seminar. He is the director of NYU Stern Derivatives Research Project and specializing in courses on futures and options from undergraduates to PhD levels. Prof Figlewski is also the founding editor of the Journal of Derivatives, a highly regarded journal on the complex side to derivatives trading.


The seminar attracted senior executives from leading corporations in the local banking and financial sectors. They included Hang Seng Bank, Julius Baer, Macquarie Capital (HK) and Prudential Assurance. Many of those attended found the presentation by Prof Figlewski insightful and the topic coverage adequate.


“The professor is very knowledgeable about the topic and this knowledge is very important to the market in Hong Kong,” said one executive. Another one said, “It was a very informative and useful seminar.” Some attendees said they would use the knowledge gained from the seminar to learn more about the VIX Index.