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Trading Room open for business

20 March 2009

(Left to Right) Business School students Ivona Videnova, Katie Roberts and Erhan Kemal in a trading simulation(Left to Right) Business School students Ivona Videnova, Katie Roberts and Erhan Kemal in a trading simulation

The new Trading Room at the Business School is set to train the financial leaders of the future in the workings of the Stock Exchange.

Funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and formally launched today, the Trading Room is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment used in the City.

The facility offers current students at the Business School the opportunity to gain practical skills in buying, selling and trading shares.

In 45 minute sessions, students are grouped into buyers, sellers and traders, working for ‘price discovery’ - finding out what value the markets puts on shares. As in real markets, deals done by one trader affects the value of the shares for others.

As students come close to finding the true price of shares, the teacher can flash up a fundamental change which disrupts the market – the resignation of a politician or a rumour about a company’s financial health.

Professor Kent Matthews explained: "It’s realism. There’s a theoretical world they learn about in their class, but they apply it here and the real world is not as easy as the theories - it has a lot of "noise", news which can affect the markets."

Students at Cardiff are also able to take Thomson Reuters Markets Academy examinations, proving to future employers their abilities in the use of market software.

Funding from the Assembly Government will provide data and market information feeds from Bloomberg and Thomson-Reuters which are fundamental to the operation.

Welsh Assembly Government First Minister, Rhodri Morgan said the new facility would help deliver exceptional finance education and provide students with the skills and practical hands-on experience sought by business.

He said: "We know the current economic climate is affecting many sectors of business and industry but financial services remain a key economic sector for Wales employing around 30,000 people.

"To grow and develop this sector in the future we need to be more innovative and more entrepreneurial than the competition which is why I welcome this collaborative and innovative working between government and higher education to meet the future needs of business."

He added that supporting a facility like the Trading Room was an investment in the skills base of tomorrow’s students which would in turn make Wales an attractive proposition for investment projects in the financial services sector.

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