BLOM BANK, October 15, 2019 – BLOMINVEST BANK celebrated the winners of the second edition of the National Virtual Stock Exchange (VSE) Competition and announced a new partnership with the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to help nurture an educated investor-base in Lebanon, on Thursday September 26, 2019 during a gala dinner held in Hilton Downtown attended by Mr. Saad Azhari, Chairman and General Manager of BLOM BANK, Dr. Fadi Osseiran, General Manager of BLOMINVEST BANK, Mr. Firas Safieddine, Vice Chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), and Mr Alexandre Mouradian, Head of Investor Relations at BLOMINVEST Bank, along with prominent journalists, university professors, representatives from official bodies and internal stakeholders.
The VSE competition which started 10 years ago in one university, is currently running across 10 leading academic institutions, reaching out to a student population of 70,000. And along the way, BLOMINVEST BANK invested 400 man hours of expert resources to run 41 competitions involving 3,700 students with a total investment of $300,000. In addition, the competition has crowned 164 winning students with prizes ranging from $500 to $4,000.
The five winners of the 2nd edition of the National VSE competition were picked after a series a presentations summarizing their efforts throughout the competition and have proved their worth after competing with students from different universities in Lebanon: Mr. Fadi Chalawit from Notre Dame University came in first place and received USD 4,000; Mr. Karim Barhoumi from the American University of Beirut was second and received USD 3,000; Mr. Alexandre Khoury from Antonine University third place winner collected USD 2,000; and Mr. Bilal Tawil and Mrs. Malak Assaad from Beirut Arab University in fourth and fifth places respectively with USD 500 for each.
Dr Fadi Osseiran welcomed the audience to BLOMINVEST Bank’s National Virtual Stock Exchange (VSE) gala dinner. He added “As you probably know, we have been successfully sponsoring the VSE intra university competition over the past decade across ten leading universities and the culmination is tonight where we honor the students that won this year’s national inter university virtual stock exchange competition. For us, engaging in the VSE competition goes beyond the scope of CSR initiatives that BLOM Bank Group supports. In essence, we would like to be acknowledged for contributing to the development of the future generation. ”
Mr. Saad Azhari saluted the winners during his speech and welcomed the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) as our new partner in the VSE competition. Mr. Azhari stated that: “The VSE aims at affiliating with prominent academic institutions to create a framework for the matching of knowledge with experience and theory with practice. It focuses on the promotion of application-based experience in taught finance curriculums to equip future finance graduates with the necessary tools to embark on their career paths with a more confident and steadfast approach. I believe the VSE has succeeded well, for it has gone beyond the stale approach of rote learning, and provided the students with an applied education that is essential for effective human capital development.”
For his part Mr. Firas Safieddine commented that: “The Partnership that we launch together with BLOMINVEST BANK today is established upon our belief in the importance of collaboration between academic, regulatory institutions and industry experts to better protect and educate young investors. The National VSE competition would allow students the opportunity to test their theoretical knowledge on markets, develop their trading skills, and build a risk-based approach to trading in securities. Such an initiative is in-line with our national investor education strategy that we will be announcing in the coming months. It will be built around the Education platform that we launched last year as part of World Investor Week.”
On a final note, Mr Alexandre Mouradian highlighted the development of the VSE competition over the past decade. He noted that “For the 2019/2020 academic year, we have added five new universities from the North, South and Beqaa areas to expand the outreach of application based experience to rural areas. As such 45 students, three winners from 15 universities, will be competing in Spring 2020 at the national level for the top five positions whose prizes have also increased. The first prize winner will receive $15,000, the second will win a trip to Europe worth $5,000 and the third to fifth places will each get $2,000 worth of weekend getaway packages within Lebanon.