International Trading Specialisation

Today, Singapore is the largest physical commodities trading hub in Asia and home to the decision-making and risk management functions for global commodity traders.

Being the first in Asia, the Nanyang Professional MBA (International Trading) aims to establish Singapore as the Asian hub for higher learning and leadership development in International Trading.

To learn more about this programme, read this interview with Associate Professor Lee Boon Keng, Academic Director for the Nanyang Professional MBA (International Trading).

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Nanyang Professional MBA (International Trading) participants in a lecture, Nanyang Business School, Singapore

​Who should consider taking the specialisation
  • Professionals in commodity trading companies
  • Private equity managers
  • Bank analysts
  • Risk management and sustainability specialists
  • Middle managers of commodity companies who are expanding their leadership responsibilities
  • Second-generation business owners of commodity companies
Industry Partners

With support from Enterprise Singapore and collaboration with the commodity trading community, the Nanyang Professional MBA (International Trading) specialisation was developed to grow the talent pool for the trading sector. This programme brings current issues in International Trading into the classroom. These range from adapting to changes in global trading rules and regulation, to sustainability and disruptions in the industry caused by technological advances.

Held on alternate weekends over 18 months at our dual campus the programme is delivered across 20 high-impact modules. In addition to the 14 core modules of the PMBA programme, candidates in the International Trading track will complete six specialisation electives that focus in depth on key roles, responsibilities, and challenges that are unique to the International Trading sector.

Our Supporting Programme Partner,  Enterprise Singapore will offer S$32,500 tuition grant for a limited number of qualified applicants. The grant is only applicable for the tuition fees, excluding GST, and any additional costs for the one-week segment in Geneva.

Infographic: Programme schedule for Nanyang Professional MBA (International Trading) Nanyang Business School, Singapore

 

Core Courses

These courses are designed to provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge and analytical tools essential for business and management.

This course focuses on the nature and scope of using accounting information for economic decision making. The first half of the course focuses on financial reporting. The emphases are on the nature of accounting information and its uses and limitations. While the focus of the course is on the users' perspective, it is essential that the user understands the building blocks of accounting, the process by which the information is generated and the incentives underlying the preparation of the accounting information. A proper understanding of the accounting process would enable the user to understand the limitations of the accounting information, and to ask the appropriate questions when using the information.

In the second half of the course, we seek to understand how accounting information is used in planning, costing, decision making, and management control. The organizational architecture will be used as the organizing framework. The major topics covered include activity-based costing and management, tools for decision making such as cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis, and performance evaluation and measurement including a discussion on sustainability issues and measurement of these objectives.

Quantitative skills are important to measure and quantify the financial effects of business strategies.

Thus, good financial analysis of business issues is critical to improve business decisions.

This course introduces to the participants the key concepts of analytics, which are of growing importance within the modern organization. Participants will be introduced to the process and tools relating to business analytics. Using real-life case studies, participants will be given the opportunity to have hands-on experience on building analytical models that will guide decision marking for common business problems such as profit and revenue forecast, customer segmentation, and consumer trend analysis.

This course systematically introduces the process of developing a strong business analytic case starting from the exploration of the data context to finally obtaining the explanatory or predictive results. The participants will learn how to ask the right questions and how to draw inferences from the data by using the appropriate statistical and data mining tools.

Overall, the course will enable participants to approach business problems data-analytically, envision business analytics opportunities in organizations, and follow up on ideas or opportunities that present themselves.

This course is an intensive introduction to the principles and practice of financial management that managers should understand. The course orientation will be from practitioners’ point of view to make the content applicable to daily business decisions. The course will be taught through lectures, class discussion and case studies. Topics to cover include:

  1. Time value of money and its business applications
  2. The importance of cashflows and how to calculate cashflows
  3. Capital budgeting decision
  4. Cost of capital usage in financial strategy and how to estimate it
  5. Financial planning
  6. Management of short-term assets and liabilities

If I had my way, this course would be re-titled “Revolutionary Marketing in the Age of Turbulence, Hyper-competition, and Disruption”, because the environment in which businesses operate today is nothing less than turbulent and hyper-competitive, and disruption is a constant threat that businesses (and even entire industries) face. In such an environment, marketing practices need to be nothing short of revolutionary. And in these extraordinary times, marketing can (and should) no longer be taught in a traditional manner. Gone are the days when companies could simply rely on efficient manufacturing operations to mass-produce products and on predictable processes to mass- advertise and distribute those products. Gone are the days when marketing was the job of a department whose executives could simply examine broad customer segments within well-defined product markets using structured survey reports. And gone are the days when the only “customers” brand owners needed to deal with and worry about were the distributors and resellers who did most of the nitty-gritty work of serving the end consumers and/or end users. Marketing today is much less predictable, much more cross-functional (and, indeed, much more a direct responsibility of the CEO), and much more fundamentally about interacting and connecting with the end consumers and users. But at the same time, marketing today is more important, exciting, and fun!

This course will approach the study of marketing from highly contemporary perspectives. Course activities will include discussions of marketing issues that have emerged “just yesterday” and marketing events that have occurred “this morning”. We will discuss the latest marketing challenges that companies face, and many examples of successful and unsuccessful marketing strategies particularly of companies/brands in Asia. There will also be a “live” project sponsored by a company that will offer a unique opportunity for participants to work on solving a live marketing problem. In addition, as part of the “Marketing 2022 Case Study” series, we will examine companies’ marketing strategies from a future-oriented perspective. Participants, whether they are already experienced marketing professionals or are complete novices at marketing, can look forward to gaining profound insight into the role of marketing in today’s business organizations as well as practical knowledge of how to successfully lead the marketing function of a progressive, thriving, and growth-oriented business.

An August 20, 2021, email from McKinsey & Company titled Planting the seeds of progress with stakeholder capitalism, refers to a statement issued two years ago by the Business Roundtable, a non-profit lobbyist association based in Washington, D.C. whose members are chief executive officers of major United States companies. The statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, is a commitment signed by 181 CEOs to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders.

In the wake of the global pandemic and societal outcry for racial justice, consumers, employees, and society at large are expecting more from organizations than ever.

On Sep 14, 2021, renowned academician Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University said that the trend of ESG (environment, social and governance) investing that has caught on rapidly around the world would end up costing companies and investors dearly.

“I believe ESG is not just a mistake that will cost companies and investors money, while making the world worse off. It creates more harm than good for society.”

What do you think? What is ethics? What are standards of corporate governance?

Corporate Governance & Ethics (CG&E) aims to further stimulate the mindset of managers and leaders to balance the key, often conflicting priorities faced in leadership, in business, government and/or the not-for-profit work environment. The aim is to help develop strategies to make difficult but crucial organizational decisions considering the dynamic external environment.

CG&E seeks to provide insights into what it takes to develop and/or strengthen an effective governance structure to allow the organization to meet increasingly challenging goals aligned with different stakeholders’ sometimes conflicting needs. We will discuss pertinent and topical issues to provoke participants to think about what accountability and responsible risk-taking really mean and foster an understanding of incorporating and embedding ethical practices in your strategy.

We will cover Ethical Leadership; Corporate Social Responsibility; Anti-Bribery & Corruption and Corporate Governance.

The aim of this course is to determine and understand forces impacting the global financial market. It treats central banking policy as a major force in shaping capital movements and market dynamics. Some of the questions the course will attempt to answer are: How do central banking policies impact the global financial market? What are key economic and market indicators that can help us determine the direction of the financial market. Participants interested in a career in of asset and wealth management, capital markets and trading should take this course.

Operations is the core of the business that is concerned with the design, operation, and improvement of systems concerned with the production of goods and services. Operations account for a significant percentage of the value added and cost in any business. Therefore, even a small advantage in operations can make the difference between winners and losers in a competitive marketplace.

This course focuses on the strategic thinking process that helps companies achieve sustained high performance. It includes a continual and integrative process of ‘making sense’ of internal and external situations, ‘making choices’ to capture value at the corporate and business levels, ‘making it happen’ to achieve the desired future status of the company, and ‘making revisions’ to adapt to unexpected situations. It thus deals with the essential issues for short and long-term competitive positions and the primary responsibility of senior decision-makers in a company.

The course begins with a fundamental strategic question of what it takes to build a sustained high-performance organization. A review of classic studies on the subject leads to a widely used ‘strategic thinking framework’ that includes the four critical tasks mentioned above. The orientation leads to the first task of ‘sensing strategic situations,’ which introduces tools to analyse external and internal situations facing a company. While the external analysis helps managers understand the trends in macro environments, competitive situations, and competitors’ behaviours, the internal analysis tries to identify and develop the source of core competences and sustained advantages. The course then moves to the task of ‘making strategic choices’ at the business and corporate levels that are to secure competitive advantages in a specific market and to expand the boundary of the firm for sustained long-term growth, respectively. The next topic addresses strategy implementation, involving the tasks of ‘making it happen’ and ‘making revisions.’ This subject discusses the content of strategy execution, organizational structure, and strategic transformation. The course concludes by discussing how to manage sustained firm growth in emerging markets that are much different from the developed markets in institutional settings, market dynamics, and consumer behaviours.

  • Corporate purpose and high-performance organizations
  • Industry and competitive analysis

The course is organised and presented from the perspective of managerial end users of IT. It is designed to prepare future business executives for proactive leadership roles and responsibilities in a world which is being constantly challenged and shaped by IT and other digital technologies.

The course focuses on concepts and applications rather than on specific technologies, techniques, or methodologies. The emphasis is on the development of enabling frameworks and conceptual models for better understanding of the deployment of IT and the Internet. The course makes liberal use of examples, case studies and other illustrations to provide examples of best practices and success stories. In this regard, the participants, who come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, are encouraged to share their own experiences and views.

Other Modules

This course analyses key issues for leaders in the commodity market and how to manage them:

  • Leadership in Commodity Trading
    • Controls and governance
    • People Management
    • External impact, conflict of interest and reputation
  • Crisis Management
    • Why do we exist?
    • How do we want to be remembered?
    • What is the problem and who are the stakeholders?
    • Difference between crisis management and incident management
    • Fundamentals of resolving crisis
    • Structured and scenario thinking together with preparation
  • Sustainability and Digitization in Commodity Markets
    • What is sustainability?
    • Future scenarios and what society want
    • Pros and cons of digitization
    • What are people doing with sustainability and digital

The global commodities market presents many opportunities and challenges for businesses and leaders who operate across geographical and professional boundaries. The increase in trade tension between major economies like US and China, and the surfacing of irregular dealings and behaviour in the commodity market provide an interesting landscape for its participants, including traders, logistics providers, and financial institutions.  

This course provides students with an understanding of some key legal and regulatory issues typically faced by participants in commodities trading including trade sanctions, trade finance risk, shipping issues and dispute resolution mechanism, and an awareness of the pitfalls and blind spots which may differentiate between success and economic disaster in the commodities trading space.   

This course aims to equip participants with a good understanding of critical aspects in supply and value chain management in commodity markets. Simulated trading scenarios will be implemented throughout the course to the raise the level of realism and enhance practical learning.

Participants will be provided with an in-depth understanding of the value of integrated structured financing solutions in international trading and insight into the various aspects of Risks and Risk Management in Commodity Trading. 

 Participants will be introduced to key commodity trade financing techniques and learn how to develop structured solutions.  

Participants will be equipped with the tools for Risk Identification as well as gain an appreciation of the diverse risks in Commodity Trading. They will also be introduced to the various risk mitigating tools and equipped with appropriate risk management techniques. 

This course teaches the fundamentals of commodities trading and disruptors in oil & gas market.  

  • Fundamental of Trading 
    • Oil Benchmark 
    • Future Market 
  • Market Structure
    • Contango & Backwardation
  • Hedging through derivatives
    • Swaps applications
    • Different types of hedges & uses in market
    • Documents required for derivatives
  • Pricing Agency
    • Discussions on Platts
    • Markets on Close methodology
    • Applications of Platts pricing 
  • Application of trading strategies
    • Arbitrage
    • Storage
    • Technical Trading
    • Option Trading 
  • Risk Management
    • Key risks: market, credit, operational, compliance, enterprise
    • Apply Mark to Market concept
    • Calculate P&L of trading strategies 
  • Disruptors in the oil and gas industry
    • Technology that is disrupting traditional practices in the industry
    • Energy transition effects on blending components
    • Value chain and business model impacts