Finance & Capital Market

Saudi sees 25pc rise in candidates for CFA exam

Saudi Arabia recorded a 25 per cent increase in candidates registering for the CFA Exams in June as compared to last year; representing the highest candidate growth in the GCC region, said the CFA Institute.

Registrations grew by21 per cent in Egypt and 26 per cent in Jordan and 25 per cent in Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates continues to see the largest number of new candidates in the Middle East, with 2,136 individuals registering for the exam.

CFA Institute, the global association of investment management professionals, added that more than250,000 candidates have registered for the upcoming Level I, II and III CFA exams, an increase of11 per cent over last year.

The number of test centres also significantly increased from286 to 348 in 95 markets around the world, reflecting growing recognition of the credential in emerging markets. The exams will be administered on June 15 and 16.

“Pursuing the CFA credential is a very rigorous process, with less than one in five candidates successfully completing the process to earn the charter,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO, CFA Institute.

“We are gratified to see the record number of candidates willing to put in the work continue to grow each year. Especially in new markets around the world where finance plays such a vital role in building strong economies. In addition to signifying the gold standard for financial acumen, the program sets a critical, high benchmark for the level of ethical behaviour and fiduciary responsibility necessary to preserve the respect and confidence of investors.”

The Middle East had a strong representation, with 6,004 investment professionals from eight GCC and Middle East countries enrolling for the CFA exams across Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. This represents a 5 per cent increase from last year.

Each year, input is gathered from practitioners around the globe to guide additions, deletions and revisions to the 9,000-page curriculum to ensure its relevance. The 2019 curriculum has a total of 10 new readings, including ones on Fintech applications, machine learning and two new ethics cases within a fintech work setting; latest practices in active and passive equity investing; and enhanced reading on professionalism in different occupations within investment management.

Each level of the CFA Program imparts a particular skill set:

•    Level I is focused on investment tools and the foundations of the business, giving candidates the necessary knowledge and comprehension;
•    Level II is focused on applying those tools in the analysis of assets classes, including equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, and alternative investments;
•    Level III is focused on portfolio management and wealth planning, requiring candidates to be competent in synthesis and evaluation while making investment decisions. – TradeArabia News Service