An Introduction to International Securities Markets
The(SPARK) organized its first International Winter University of Macedonia (IWUM) in January 2005.
Securities markets are essential to the functioning of a country’s economy and its financial systems. Liquidity, the efficiency of trade systems and the transparency and accountability of market players are critical aspects of a modern securities markets system.
Technological innovations, the globalization of financial markets, the consolidation of stock exchanges and the increasingly important role of financial markets in the development of emerging economies underline the rapid changes in securities markets. The functioning of securities markets and the lack of sound corporate governance principles have become major topics of discussion in the last decade. This interest has been intensified by recent corporate failures and the role of institutional investors in protecting and representing their clients. Some Business Week estimates indicate that the Enron collapse alone accounted for a loss of $32 billion in stock market capitalization in the US.
Other estimates suggest that financial fraud and the restatements of financial statements have cost US investors over $100 billion in the last 6-7 years; more than the Great Depression caused in the 1930s in total. This has caused the regulators in the United States and the European Union to take a stronger stand in the enforcement of good corporate governance practices and securities markets regulations. The US Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the SEC now requires the certification of annual reports by CEOs and the American stock exchanges are introducing new corporate governance listing requirements to strengthen corporate accountability. In Europe, a corporate governance action plan has been launched and several recommendations on director remuneration and responsibility have been introduced.
The main objectives of this course concentrate on the ability of students to:
- Understand recent developments in the organization of securities markets and trading systems;
- Apply valuation principles of securities;
- Understand the role in and the impact of institutional investors on the functioning of securities markets;
- Understand key issues and principles of securities market regulations;
- Understand the role corporate governance plays in attracting financing to listed companies;
- Recognize the role of legislation and institutional investors in the development of codes of conduct and other forms of self-regulation in securities markets; and
- Apply leading theoretical perspectives of corporate governance shaping securities markets development.
The project was developed in co-operation with three Macedonian universities and involved faculties of Law, Public Administration, Economics and Business Administration of the Universities of Skopje, Bitola and the SEE University in Tetovo. The aim of the project was to foster academic cooperation on a national and European level and to assist in the implementation of the Bologna Process in Macedonia.
The Winter University brought together national, regional and international professors for two weeks, providing 9 (ECTS) courses. The project included workshops, training programs and study visits for local faculty. We have posted the model on our website because of its innovative approach to academic education in developing countries. Its relatively low costs enable replication in many other countries.
Posted with permission from ATA.
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