Saudi Arabia records largest jump in CFA candidates

Updated 17 June 2019
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Saudi Arabia records largest jump in CFA candidates

  • egistrations grew by 21 percent in Egypt, 26 percent in Jordan and 25 percent in Saudi Arabia

LONDON: The number of Saudis enrolling for chartered financial analyst (CFA) exams has jumped by a quarter — more than in any other Gulf state.

It coincides with a push to develop the Kingdom’s financial services sector as part of the Vision 2030 blueprint for economic and social reform.

CFA Institute, the global association of investment management, said that more than 250,000 candidates have registered for the upcoming Level I, II and III CFA exams — one of the most popular qualifications for investment professionals.

 “Pursuing the CFA credential is a very rigorous process, with less than one in five candidates successfully completing the process to earn the charter,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO, CFA Institute. “We are gratified to see the record number of candidates willing to put in the work continue to grow each year. Especially in new markets around the world where finance plays such a vital role in building strong economies.” 

The Middle East had a strong representation in the global mix, with 6,004 investment professionals from eight GCC and Middle East countries enrolling for the CFA exams — up 5 percent on last year.

Registrations grew by 21 percent in Egypt, 26 percent in Jordan and 25 percent in Saudi Arabia. 

The UAE continues to see the largest number of new candidates in the Middle East, with 2,136 individuals registering for the exam.

 

 

 


China central bank moves to support financial institutions

Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen on a counter of a branch of a commercial bank in Beijing, China, March 30, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 July 2019
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China central bank moves to support financial institutions

  • Many market watchers believe the PBOC will adjust its money market rates in early August if the US Federal Reserve cuts its key rate, as widely expected, on July 31

BEIJING: China’s central bank offered medium-term loans to financial institutions on Tuesday in an attempt to get more affordable funds to struggling smaller firms, as it steps up efforts to support a slowing economy.
With growth in China sliding to a near 30-year low, global financial markets are closely watching to see if the People’s Bank
of China (PBOC) will trim interest rates soon in line with expected easing by other central banks.
While the PBOC left rates on the medium-term loans unchanged on Tuesday, and the injection had been expected, it funneled more lower-cost funds into a credit program aimed specifically at reducing strains on small and medium-sized businesses.
The PBOC lent 497.7 billion yuan ($72.31 billion), including 200 billion yuan through one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans and another 297.7 billion yuan through targeted medium-term lending facility (TMLF) loans, it said in a statement.
The size of the TMLF funding was 11 percent larger than the last such injection in April.
Interest rates for both liquidity facilities were unchanged from previous levels. The one-year MLF and TMLF remained at 3.30 percent and 3.15 percent, respectively.
The total amount roughly offset 502 billion yuan of MLF loans that were set to expire on Tuesday,
ensuring a steady supply of cash.
“Replacing some MLF with TMLF effectively cut funding costs. We should focus on the lower rate, instead of the net drainage on the day,” said Frances Cheung, head of Asia macro strategy at Westpac in Singapore.

BACKGROUND

China is keeping all its policy tools within reach as the trade war with the US gets longer and costlier, but sees more aggressive action like interest rate cuts as a last resort given concerns about rising debt.

The central bank said banking system liquidity will be “reasonably ample” after the lending operations.
About 160 billion yuan in reverse repos were also set to expire on Tuesday, according to Reuters calculations based on official data. The PBOC did not say in its statement whether it had drained funds from money markets on Tuesday.

BACKGROUND

China is keeping all its policy tools within reach as the trade war with the US gets longer and costlier, but sees more aggressive action like interest rate cuts as a last resort given concerns about rising debt.

Some traders said Tuesday’s moves were in line with the PBOC’s support measures since last year, which have been aimed at getting more affordable financing to small and private companies.
While Chinese regulators have urged banks to keep lending to distressed firms, such companies are often considered higher credit risks than big, state-owned enterprises.
Traders and analysts still expect the PBOC to cut rates on some of its liquidity tools in coming months.
The PBOC has already slashed banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRR) six times since early 2018 to free up more money to lend, while guiding short-term market rates lower through liquidity injections in various forms.
Many market watchers believe the PBOC will adjust its money market rates in early August if the US Federal Reserve cuts its key rate, as widely expected, on July 31.
Cheung from Westpac said it was still possible the PBOC could lower the MLF rate after the Fed’s policy decision.
She also has pencilled in a 50 basis-point RRR cut this quarter, and another in the fourth quarter.