Case Studies

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Lyxor ChinaH Versus Lyxor MSIndia: Portfolio Risk and Return

by Assoc Prof Ruth S. K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar and Dr Weina Zhang

Publication Date: 02/02/2016

In September 2015, Susie reflected on the performance of her personal investment portfolio over the past seven years. Susie had invested in two exchange traded funds (ETFs): Lyxor ChinaH and Lyxor MSIndia. She was now considering Lyxor USDJIA as a third ETF to diversify her risk. This analysis would involve the concept of portfolio diversification and the application of the capital asset pricing model. In addition, Susie would need to calculate mean returns, standard deviations, covariances, correlations, betas, and required returns in order to fully assess the merits of her decision. Although Susie had been satisfied with her portfolio performance over the past seven years, the high growth in these two emerging markets had fizzled out lately. Should Susie diversify her portfolio or remain invested in China and India only?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Colgate: Regaining Leadership in India's Sensitive Teeth Market

by Dr Doreen Kum

Publication Date: 16/12/2015

In April 2013, Colgate-Palmolive, a long-term front runner in a consumer goods business that specialized in oral care products, lost its dominance for the sensitive teeth toothpaste market in India. It was a dominance that Colgate-Palmolive had managed to build over the years by being a first mover and by leveraging its reputation as a leader in oral care products. However, new global and local competitors entered the market with diverse product variants and aggressive marketing campaigns, and started to erode the company’s market share. By mid-2013, the fight for market share was fierce and on the verge of becoming even more intense. Could Colgate-Palmolive regain its dominance? How should the company navigate these extremely competitive tides to regain its lost market share?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Tiger Balm: Internationalization and Product Extension

by Assoc Prof Nitin Pangarkar

Publication Date: 22/12/2015

Haw Par Corporation’s healthcare division produces Tiger Balm, the external analgesic rub that has gained global popularity. Despite delivering strong results, the division remains dependent on Asian markets, which poses challenges with regard to low affordability, weak protection of intellectual property and aggressive competition. To achieve sustained growth, the company’s executive director is considering several alternatives: geographic expansion, by entering more markets; product expansion, through deeper penetration of existing markets with new products; and extending the brand into the highly competitive wellness space. He also needs to decide whether the division should pursue organic or inorganic growth.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Google Glass: Development, Marketing and User Acceptance

by Assoc Prof Thompson S.H. Teo, Mr Kian Teck Chua (BBA graduated student), Mr Zhiyi Yong (BBA  student), Mr Timothy Dao Sheng Lim (BBA graduated student) and Mr Jonathan Jun Jie Boon (BBA graduated student)

Publication Date: 21/12/2015

This case introduces the key features of Google’s wearable technology product “Glass” and illustrates the tensions that Google faced over the development and marketing of this product. The case goes on to highlight the growing backlash that Google experienced when promoting Glass.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Standard Chartered Bank: Valuation and Capital Structure

by Assoc Prof Ruth S. K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar and Dr Weina Zhang

Publication Date: 08/12/2015

Following a turbulent 2014 for Standard Chartered Bank, the bank’s largest shareholder, Temasek Holdings, began showing indications that it was seriously considering offloading at least a portion of its massive shareholdings in Standard Chartered Bank. This case seeks to provide a fair valuation of Standard Chartered Bank’s intrinsic value, as well as rationalize the most appropriate way for Standard Chartered Bank to raise funds to satisfy the higher capital requirements under Basel III regulatory rules. Assuming that Standard Chartered Bank decided to hold on to its significant bank investments and to raise funds to satisfy the higher capital requirements, what could be some possible financing alternatives? Would it help to attract more bank deposits, raise debt, or go for a seasoned offering? What would be the impact of these financing alternatives? Finally, what would be a suitable recommendation on how to raise the funds if one took the valuation results into consideration?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Korean Air: The "Nut Rage" Incident

by Assoc Prof Thompson S.H. Teo and Ms Mei Jie Zhao (BBA Double degree graduated student)

Publication Date: 30/11/2015

In December 2014, after receiving poor service on a flight, a senior vice president at Korean Air lashed out at the flight attendants and delayed the flight’s departure until the chief attendant was returned to the gate. Following a tepid apology from her father, Korean Air’s chief executive officer, her actions drew a public backlash because they exposed the sense of entitlement prevalent among rich family conglomerates in South Korea. How should she have reacted in the face of the service failure? Why had she become the target of a public backlash? What could Korean Air do to mitigate the negative effects of this incident?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Suntech Power: Competition and Financing in China's Solar Industry

by Dr Sunil Gupta and Dr Emir Hrnjić

Publication Date: 16/10/2015

In 2011, Suntech Power, the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, found itself in a highly problematic position. Recent developments in the Chinese solar power industry had negatively impacted the company’s operations. As the industry had matured, the demand for Suntech Power’s products had become highly volatile. Changing policy regulations, the ambiguous financial structure of the firm and a shift in consumers’ perceptions of the product were only some of the issues that further compounded the problem. As a result of these changing dynamics within the global solar power industry, the company’s share price had plummeted by roughly 90 per cent. To remedy the problem, in May 2011, the founder and chief executive officer of Suntech Power hired a new chief financial officer and they faced the arduous task of turning the company around. How should they tackle changing political and economic conditions? What decisions needed to be made to maintain the position of the company in the global solar energy market?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Fairfax and Thomas Cook India: Permanent Capital, Private Equity and Public Markets

by Dr Emir Hrnjić, Ms Nupur Pavan Bang, Dr Vikram Kuriyan and Dr Sanjay Bakshi

Publication Date: 08/10/2015

In March 2012, the CEO of Fairbridge Capital considered the pros and cons of the potential acquisition of Thomas Cook India. He believed that Thomas Cook India’s two business segments (travel/related services and financial services) had different potential in terms of growth and cash flow generation. Analysts predicted tremendous growth potential in the travel business (although it would require additional investment), while the foreign exchange segment had limited growth potential but generated significant cash flow. Thomas Cook India had changed ownership several times in a short time period, and the stock price had fallen substantially. Would acquiring Thomas Cook India fit the value-investing philosophy rigorously followed by Fairbridge Capital and its parent company, Fairfax Financial? If so, how much should Fairbridge bid? Was Thomas Cook India worth more with two segments or was it better off split into two? Finally, should Fairbridge delist Thomas Cook India or keep it public?

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

7-Eleven Indonesia Innovating in Emerging Markets

by Assoc Prof Marleen Dieleman, Assoc Prof Ishtiaq Mahmood and Mr Peter Darmawan

Publication Date: 15/09/2015

The global convenience store brand 7-Eleven entered Indonesia in 2009, with local player PT Modern International as the master franchisor. To differentiate the stores from other convenience stores and to cater to emerging market customers in Indonesia, the CEO combined the idea of a restaurant and a convenience store in his new 7-Eleven outlets. The 7-Eleven stores provided an affordable and convenient location for youth to hang out and have a quick bite to eat. They also offered wireless Internet and a range of services and products like fresh food and beverages. The case requires students to outline the innovative elements that explain 7-Eleven’s success in Indonesia, reflect on its scalability and sustainability, and also to advise the CEO on further strategies to strengthen 7-Eleven in Indonesia.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

Olam: Accounting for Biological Assets

by Prof Yew Kee Ho, Prof Teo Chee Khiang and Mr Sitoh Kheng Hoe

Publication Date: 25/08/2015

In 2012, an equity research firm based in California accused Singapore-based Olam International Limited (Olam) of engaging in potentially misleading and dangerous accounting practices. The firm — Muddy Waters Research — further stated that Olam was on the verge of bankruptcy. The primary complaint made against Olam by Muddy Waters was that Olam allegedly made aggressive use of “non-cash accounting gains,” particularly when reporting on Olam’s biological assets. Olam’s share price tumbled after the accusations were made public. Olam defended itself by asserting that it had applied Singapore Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 41 — Agriculture appropriately and that the fair value gains of the biological assets were justifiably derived. FRS 41, equivalent to International Financial Accounting Standards 41 — Agriculture, required Singapore-listed companies to use fair value in the measurement of biological assets. This case examines the complex challenges that valuators face when presented with different valuation models, the application of financial reporting standards and the fine balance between reliability and relevance in the accounting of assets in the real world.

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