UQ Business School hosts Asian Finance Association 2009 conference

3 Aug 2009
UQ Business School hosted the Asian Finance Association's International Conference recently, which saw delegates from across the globe make their way to Brisbane. The event was held at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane from June 30 to July 3, with 210 delegates attending from 17 countries including Australia, Austria, the UK, the USA, Chine, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Canada, Bangladesh, Japan and New Zealand. A total of 330 papers were submitted for the conference, with 184 papers presented throughout the three-day event. Conference co-chair Karen Benson, of UQ Business School, said 'this is the first time that UQ has hosted the event', and that 'it has been 10 years since the conference has been in Australia'. "The highlights included 2 keynote addresses; Professor Alexander Ljungqvist from Stern Business School, New York University and Professor Hank Bessembinder from David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah," Dr Benson said. "Professor Ljungqvist discussed his recent work, 'Monitoring Managers: Does it Matter?' and Professor Bessembinder presented a paper on 'Liquidity and Asset Pricing'." Professor Kalok Chan, President of the Asian Finance Association, said the theme of the 2009 conference was New Knowledge for Finance. "As the global financial crisis illustrates, there are both outstanding and new issues for the finance academics to explore, ranging from financial regulation, credit products, valuation techniques, risk management, financial market design, compensation policy, to financial market contagion," he said. Dr Benson agreed the global financial crisis was a hot topic of discussion, but said speakers also focused on the strengths and limitations of the Australian economy. "The financial crisis was a very relevant topic of discussion in Professor Ljungqvist's talk as we progress our corporate governance systems. It was also discussed at length in the forum and concluded that Australia has come through the crisis relatively well," she said. "Speakers in the Forum noted the strengths of the Australian economy as a National Financial Centre that provides a sophisticated financial market with advanced business systems, good regulation and a skilled workforce in the investment industry." "However, limitations to Australia becoming an International centre were that Australia has only a very small bond market, low value derivative assets, limited hedge fund offerings and an over-reactive regulatory system." Professor Chan said the conference could not have gone ahead without 'the contributions of many individuals who put in the time and efforts'. "I would like to express sincere appreciation to the UQ Business School for devoting both manpower and financial resources to organising this conference," he said. "I would also thank the donations from the various conference sponsors. Without their generous support the conference would not be possible."