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.


UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

Updated 21 March 2019
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UAE’s Network International shrugs off Brexit to list shares in London

  • The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK
  • The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore

DUBAI: Network International, the UAE payments processor, has committed to a London IPO next month in what would be the UK’s first big share sale of the year.
The company intends to have a free float of at least 25 percent and admission to the London Stock Exchange is expected to take place in April, Network International said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
The planned share sale comes at an uncertain time in the UK where there is still no clarity around whether Britain will leave the EU or not at the end of the month.
VPS Healthcare, the Abu Dhabi-based hospital operator, is reconsidering plans to list in London due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company, which operates hospitals in the Middle East, was said to be also considering listing in the US or Singapore.
Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, owns 51 percent of Network International while Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic jointly own the rest.
The share sale will be a key test of investor demand for new listings in London after a subdued 2018 across most European markets.
“Volatility has continued in recent months, driven by the uncertainty around trade between the US and China, the wider geopolitical climate and the potential end of the current bull run,” said Peter Whelan, partner and UK IPO Lead at PwC in a recent report.
“We are seeing a healthy number of companies preparing for an IPO in 2019 despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations which have clearly impacted IPO activity on the London market.”
The payment processor reported earnings of $298 million last year according to its website, up from $262 million a year earlier. It does not disclose net income figures.
The company handles digital payments across the Middle East, which generate three quarters of its total earnings.
Last year it processed some $40 billion in payments for more than 65,000 merchants.
Its key markets in the region include the UAE and Jordan it says that Saudi Arabia offers “significant opportunities.” It also offers services in 40 African countries with Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa being its most important segments on the continent.