A team of students from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), a Qatar Foundation partner university, took the top spot at the second Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Financial Education Competition.
Eight universities took part, with CMU-Q edging out teams from Qatar University and Hamad Bin Khalifa University, according to a press statement.
The first QSE Financial Education Competition took place in 2019, with a CMU-Q team also taking first place.
The competition kicked off before the pandemic, in early 2020. Teams were given the task to value Aamal Holdings, a diversified business with holdings in four different sectors.
Business administration students Haidar al-Haidar, Abraham Farooqui, Joud Ghalayini, Faiha Sahirah and Mariam Syed delved into the complicated task of valuating a company with such varied assets.
Fuad Farooqi, associate teaching professor of finance at CMU-Q, noted that the analysis was much deeper than a typical valuation: “The submission not only included technical and fundamental analysis, but also the methodology and theoretical underpinnings of that analysis.”
After the students completed their report in the spring of 2020, they looked forward to the formal presentation and awards. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, however, the presentations were postponed. The students presented their work to an online panel of industry judges in April 2021, including representatives from Qatar Financial Centre, AlRayan Investments and Aventicum. When the scores were announced, CMU-Q topped the leaderboard.
Al-Haidar said the wait worked in the team’s favour: “We were asked to predict the stock price one year in the future. Because of the wait, we could see the actual stock price, and that our prediction was actually very close.”
Farooqi, who teaches financial markets, believes competitions like this reinforce the theory he teaches in class: “The QSE competition replicates the industry experience. It’s a slice of the real world, and the fact that our teams have won twice is reflection of the quality of our students, how engaged they are, and how they can apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios.”
Al-Haidar, Ghalayini, Sahirah and Syed will graduate from CMU-Q with bachelor degrees in business administration in 2021. Abraham Farooqui graduated with the Class of 2020.
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