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.


French state-owned bank drops plan to aid trade with Iran

Updated 24 September 2018
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French state-owned bank drops plan to aid trade with Iran

PARIS: French state-owned bank Bpifrance has abandoned its plan to set up a mechanism to aid French companies trading with Iran, in the face of US sanctions against Tehran.
Earlier this year, the bank had said it was working on a project to finance French companies that wished to export goods to Iran despite US sanctions.
“It’s put on hold,” said Nicolas Dufourcq, Bpifrance’s chief executive. “Conditions are not met (...) Sanctions are punitive for companies.”
Bpifrance was working on establishing euro-denominated export guarantees to Iranian buyers of French goods and services. By structuring the financing through vehicles without any US link, Bpifrance thought it was possible to avoid the extraterritorial reach of US legislation.
Dufourcq’s latest comments show how the scope of the sanctions is making trade with Iran increasingly difficult for European companies.
The United States is renewing sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from a nuclear deal forged in 2015 between Tehran and world powers. Washington reimposed some of the financial sanctions from Aug. 6, while those affecting Iran’s petroleum sector will come into force from Nov. 4.
Even though several European countries have said they are seeking to protect their companies from the sanctions, several major companies including oil company Total, Air France-KLM and British Airways have announced they would suspend activities in Iran.
German officials have in recent weeks advocated for the creation of an independent system for cross-border payments to make trade with Iran possible even with the US sanctions.
European Union diplomats have said US President Donald Trump’s positions on trade and on Iran were fueling a rethink about the EU’s dependency on the US financial system.
However, European countries appear to be struggling to find or agree on effective options to tackle the issue.