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AUS and HSBC launch a high-tech Interactive Trading Floor, the first of its kind in the MENA region
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, UAE Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), the university, in partnership with HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, launched today the AUS Interactive Trading Floor (ITF) at the AUS School of Business Administration (SBA).
The launch of the Trading Floor was attended by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor, and Abdulfattah Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited in the UAE, senior AUS officials, HSBC executives and industry leaders.
The first of its kind in the MENA region, the ITF is a sophisticated facility that incorporates live tools and software to extend theory into practice in a fast-paced, applied environment. It is a technologically advanced 24-seat learning space which is designed to be an exact duplicate of the trading floor found in banks equipped with the same live feeds, industry software and analytical tools.
Chancellor Kjerfve expressed pride at having the ITF established at AUS. "Such a unique facility will position AUS as the leader in financial education and as a provider of both knowledge and practical skills in the field of business," he said during the opening ceremony.
"The launch of this Interactive Trading Floor at the AUS School of Business Administration is a testimony to the university's commitment to providing the best in education to prepare the future business leaders in the region," the Chancellor said. He expressed appreciation for HSBC's support in engaging higher education to enhance innovation in response to current marketplace trends. The AUS ITF will also serve as a bridge between academia and the industry in improving the learning environment.
HSBC's funding of the Interactive Trading Floor at American University of Sharjah is part of a series of community investments being made globally to mark HSBC's 150th anniversary. Overall, USD150 million of additional funding has been committed to community projects over three years (2015-2017) around the world.
Abdulfattah Sharaf, CEO of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, UAE, said, "HSBC is proud to support the establishment of the AUS Interactive Trading Floor, a first of its kind in the region, to help students experience the world of trading. There can often be a gap between theory and practice and we hope that students are able to acquire the insight, skills and broad industry knowledge needed to transition successfully into the workforce.
"Senior management, traders and other financial experts will also provide their time to the students of AUS in the form of mentorship, guest lectures and sharing their career experiences," Sharaf added.
Dr. Daniel Dupuis, Director of the AUS ITF, said he was pleased that the efforts to establish the AUS Interactive Trading Floor were fruitful. "The AUS ITF represents the concrete implementation of the vision for the future of higher education in the UAE by combining innovation and technology to promote deeper learning. The trading room will merge academia and the finance industry," he said.
Through such initiatives, SBA will become the leading source of business knowledge in the MENA region, and AUS will be the university of choice for the best students to pursue their degrees in business administration in this region, Dr. Dupuis added.
Through the use of integrated assignments, simulations, practical cases and trading competitions, the Interactive Trading Floor will promote deeper learning where users must adapt theoretical concepts to the framework and limitations imposed by real-world data. To achieve this goal, the AUS ITF is equipped with the leading finance industry software and hardware packages such as 24 Bloomberg terminals, Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, Zawya and others.
Curriculum integration of the ITF capabilities will begin immediately, along with complementary activities such as trading competitions and guest lectures so that students can derive even more value.