Bloomberg starts second training program for Saudi students in Dubai

Aspiring Saudi journalists attend a training session in the Dubai bureau of Bloomberg News. (Supplied)
Updated 10 September 2018
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Bloomberg starts second training program for Saudi students in Dubai

  • Students learn about data-driven journalism
  • Follows earlier training session in January

LONDON: Bloomberg and the Misk Foundation have begun the second edition of their financial journalism training program in Dubai for Saudi students.
The initiative aims to advance financial education and journalism in the Kingdom through training conducted by Matthew Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Bloomberg News, and more than 20 Bloomberg journalists.
The course is based in Bloomberg’s newsroom in Dubai, where students are learning about Bloomberg’s brand of data-driven journalism in the news organization’s largest Middle East bureau.
“The Saudi participants, whose majors include finance, marketing, communications and politics, were all selected for their strong interest in journalism,” Bloomberg and the Misk Foundation said in a joint statement.
Gulf nationals have historically been under-represented in financial journalism in the region, but efforts are underway to encourage more interest from them as economic diversification efforts target the creation of jobs in financial services and other emerging sectors.
The Bloomberg course gives students an intensive grounding in covering regional markets, reporting on companies and finance, journalistic ethics and principles, and multimedia journalism.
They will also hear directly from several senior Bloomberg News reporters from the Middle East and beyond on their own experiences, including female reporters who will discuss their careers as women in journalism in the region, the statement said.
“I am looking forward to learning more about the actual production element of working in a newsroom,” said Farah Shobokshi, 22, who recently graduated from Northeastern University in Boston and wants to work in TV production.
Some 30 aspiring Saudi journalists — 22 women and eight men — participated in the first edition of the program in January 2018.
It follows a deal between Bloomberg and the Misk Foundation in November 2016 which explores a number of joint initiatives aimed at developing cross-disciplinary and training programs to boost the skills of young media professionals in Saudi Arabia.
Bloomberg and Misk signed another agreement in March 2018 to create financial training programs and finance labs at 30 Saudi Arabian universities.


China’s Xiaomi swings to net profit in Q3 on robust sales in India, Europe

Updated 19 November 2018
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China’s Xiaomi swings to net profit in Q3 on robust sales in India, Europe

  • Profit for the three months through September reached $357.23 million
  • The firm has been adding new brands to its smartphone portfolio to target niche consumers

HONG KONG: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc. said on Monday it swung to a net profit in the third quarter, beating analyst estimates, driven by robust sales in India and Europe.
Profit for the three months through September reached 2.48 billion yuan ($357.23 million), versus an 11 billion yuan loss in the same period a year earlier. That compared with a 1.92 billion yuan average of five analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv Eikon.
Xiaomi also said operating profit sank 38.4 percent to 3.59 billion yuan in the third quarter. Revenue rose 49.1 percent to 50.85 billion yuan.
The mixed results come amid a slowdown in smartphone purchases both in China, where Xiaomi once was the top-selling handset brand, and overseas.
Nevertheless Xiaomi, along with fellow low-cost handset makers Oppo and Vivo, accounted for around a quarter of the global smartphone market in the first half of 2018, showed data from researcher IDC.
Xiaomi’s fastest-growing markets are India, where it has had success with its budget Redmi phone series, and Europe, where it entered in 2017 with launches in Russia and Spain. Earlier this month it released its flagship Mi 8 Pro device in Britain.
But to weather the global market slowdown, analysts said Xiaomi needs to expand to new markets and also sell more higher-priced devices with wider profit margins.
The firm has been adding new brands to its smartphone portfolio to target niche consumers. Concurrent with today’s earnings, it announced a partnership with Meitu Inc, a maker of a photo app popular with young women, to sell phones under its brand. Earlier this year it launched Black Shark, a phone targeted at gamers, and Poco, a value-for-money device aimed at India.
Mo Jia, who tracks China’s smartphone makers at research firm Canalys, said attempts to sell more expensive devices requires changing its brand perception.
“It’s still very hard for Xiaomi to change its perception of being a low-end device manufacturer as the majority of its smartphone shipments are the Redmi series.”
Xiaomi also aims to transform itself from a smartphone firm into a software company. As the firm prepared for its IPO, founder Lei Jun touted Internet services — namely advertisements placed on the firm’s in-house apps — as its future and key differentiator from other handset brands.
In the third quarter, Xiaomi’s smartphone division grew revenue by 36.1 percent while its Internet service division grew 85.5 percent. But phones made up 64.6 percent of total sales, while Internet services made up 9.3 percent.
The results are the second set released by Xiaomi since the smartphone maker raised $4.72 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) in June, valuing the firm at about $54 billion — around half of some earlier industry estimates of $100 billion.
Its shares have fallen roughly 20 percent since they started trading in July amid a broader Chinese stock market sell-off and concern about a slowdown in China’s tech industry.