Hong Kong University wins Bloomberg’s trading challenge

Rick Steves

“The markets are so unpredictable – they really keep you on your toes. The markets are constantly changing based on all sorts of news and economic factors. If you get complacent, you’ll miss out on opportunities or make mistakes.”

The 2023 Global Trading Challenge, hosted by Bloomberg, saw participation from over 8,400 students from 38 countries, with each participant managing a virtual $1 million US dollars to develop and execute a return-generating strategy.

This annual event, conducted virtually, involved students competing in the investment competition using the Bloomberg Terminal, supported by faculty advisors and training from Bloomberg employees.

The challenge aims to equip students with skills and knowledge for finance careers, offering practical experience. In 2023, the competition witnessed over 48,000 trades, with AI stocks being the most favored investment.

8,400 students from 38 countries

The winning team from the University of Hong Kong achieved the highest relative return against the Bloomberg World Large, Mid & Small Cap Price Return Index (WLS Index), with a +67.7% return over six weeks, equating to a +$637,399 profit.

Regional winners included Rochester Institute of Technology (US), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Latin America), City University London (Bayes Business School) (Europe), NYU Abu Dhabi (Middle East), and the University of Hong Kong (Asia and Oceania).

Jocelyn Darmawan, Gavin Sayogo and Swarna Wijaya, the winners of this year’s challenge said: “The markets are so unpredictable – they really keep you on your toes. The markets are constantly changing based on all sorts of news and economic factors. If you get complacent, you’ll miss out on opportunities or make mistakes. But at the same time, all that movement also creates new chances to profit. The Bloomberg Terminal made analyzing companies and trends so simple. From key stats and analyst reports to news articles and company filings, we had everything we needed in one place.”

“The most helpful resource provided to us was the Bloomberg Market Concepts course. Not only did it help build our foundation of knowledge as beginners to financial markets, but the learning material also allowed us to earn our BMC certification to demonstrate our proficiency and understanding of core market principles. We think the modules did a great job laying out the essential concepts in an easy-to-follow and digestible way.”

Emily Perrucci, Bloomberg Global Head of User Support, said: “Students across the globe have a unique opportunity to engage in real-world, experiential learning through the Global Trading Challenge. Each year, the number of participating students and universities continues to grow and the competition gets steeper, creating an environment where students can sharpen their skills and stress test their investment theses among global participants. At Bloomberg, we are proud to be an innovative ed-tech leader and continue paving the way for the next generation of talent for the financial services industry.”

Dr. Maxime Thibault B. Couvert, Assistant Professor of Investments and Portfolio Analysis at the University of Hong Kong, said: “I am so proud of my team for winning this challenge in a fierce competition against over 2000 participating teams. It is an outstanding achievement that is a testament to the students’ hard work, commitment, and passion for finance. It is essential for our students to learn how to retrieve financial data from Bloomberg Terminals as it prepares them for their future career in the finance industry. The Bloomberg Lab at the University of Hong Kong is frequented by both researchers and students eager to gain real-world skills to become the next generation of financial professionals.”

Bloomberg also offers certification courses such as Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC), Environmental Social Governance (ESG), and Bloomberg Finance Fundamentals (BFF). The winning team commended the BMC course for its foundational knowledge and certification in core market principles.

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