Business and finance courses for women launched in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH — Women in Saudi Arabia can now pursue a bachelor's degree in banking and finance as the ministry of higher education has accredited Dar Al Hekma Women's College to offer these courses.

By Habib Shaikh

Published: Fri 11 May 2007, 9:30 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:59 PM

A joint committee including professors from the University of London, London's City University and King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) designed the courses for the four-year Bachelor of Science in banking and finance degree programme. Courses will be taught in English by professors from Lebanon, the United States, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.

"This will offer more professional job opportunities to women in the Kingdom," commented Saleh Al Turki, chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). "Banks in Saudi Arabia are currently enjoying the highest percentage of profit in the world, 130 per cent of capital," he said.

Amal El Tigani, associate professor of finance, welcomed the measure and said that this is the right time to launch this degree programme. "This is a positive step for women in Saudi Arabia," she said, and added that as more women invest in securities and other financial mechanisms the demand for women analysts and brokers to serve them would increase. The education would also open the doors for women interested in hosting television programmes that focus on economic matters.

It may be noted that Saudi women are finding the stock market very attractive. To some women, the stock market is a way to double their profits while others believe that it is a good way to occupy their spare time. The women broaden their knowledge of stock market by searching for stock information and updates, and by benefiting from experiences of women who have previously invested in the stock market.

Saudi women stock market investors have established a reputation for asking questions about the stock market and following company announcements. They are becoming more familiar with market indicators and know exactly when to enter the market. The Saudi stock market has attracted more than 90 per cent of Saudi businesswomen and they have participated heavily in many initial public offerings (IPOs) including Bank Albilad, Almarai and Etihad Etisalat. Women do not find investing in factories and shops as attractive as managing their own portfolios and trading stocks.

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