Contributed by Terence Lim
Crystal Research Group comprises four students representing Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in the prestigious University Investment Research Competition (UIRC) organized by Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Singapore. Team members, Terence Lim, You Yewei, Krystle Liew and Jeremy Teo, are all members of City Harvest Church studying finance in Nanyang Business School.
On 13 December 2008, Crystal Research Group made a sell-call to ComfortDelGro Corporation, the parent company of Comfort Taxi and SBS Transit, with the purpose of encouraging ComfortDelGro to sell their stocks at S$1.32 per share from the original price of S$1.51 per share. The research group highlighted worrying concerns on unsustainable growth through merger and acquistion and a diminishing earnings outlook. Investors who had heeded this advice would have fared well in these turbulent markets, as ComfortDelGro’s share nosedived to S$1.38 per share as of 23 December 2008.
|PHOTOS: Lee Hong Sing
Crystal Research Group beat contestants from National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and MBA School SP Jain Institute of Management, to emerge as champions of the CFA competition.
Participating groups were required to conduct a thorough analysis and valuation of the company to recommend investment decisions. “We participated in this competition because we were all like-minded in our interest in finance and in our desire to shine in the marketplace,” says Liew.
“It is an honor to win this competition and we believe that this is the beginning of many good things to come,” says Lim.
The team was given a choice of four companies from which they picked ComfortDelGro. “Our initial impression of ComfortDelGro was that it is a fairly straightforward business model to analyze. However we realized that this is a misconception as they have diverse operations in different countries. We were also challenged by the tight deadlines as we had less than three days to present our analysis. A lot of time was also spent trying to find the crux of the issue,” said You, the team’s chief financial modeler.
Their efforts have certainly paid off; not only will they be getting a free CFA scholarship, they will also be exposed to rigorous finance training by the CFA community, which is something every finance undergraduate dreams of. The team will train with industry professionals to prepare them for the regional finals.
This victory however did not come without a sacrifice. While their peers were enjoying the holidays, the team was hard at work late into the night, poring over mountains of financial statements and company news. Their hard won victory has brought them the opportunity to represent Singapore in the regional finals against other Asia Pacific countries in early 2009 and ultimately, the global finals in London.