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Volume 68, Issue 132, Monday, April 14, 2003


Cullen Blvd. meets Wall St. in trade contest

By Aaron Raciot
News Reporter

Those who passed by UHis C.T. Bauer College of Business might have thought they were on Wall Street on Saturday afternoon as the UH Finance Association hosted its second annual trading competition.

Thirty-five business students with grade point averages 3.25 and above competed in a simulated trading environment modeled after the New York Mercantile Exchange. Former NYMEX traders evaluated the students on their skills and awarded scholarship prizes of $500 for first place, $300 for second, $200 for third and $100 each for two honorable mentions.

Matthew Boettcher took first place with Paul Harshaw and Elsie Ritchie claiming second and third places respectively. The honorable mentions were Chad Ross and Manish Parmar.

"The finance association is looking to give students the best learning experience possible," competition chairman Umair Khan said. "We feel like this event is a step in that direction."

Competitors had to buy and sell theoretical units of crude oil aloud. While trading was being conducted, live news feeds with information like war headlines and weather updates were given, thus affecting trading behavior.

"I was nervous and excited at the same time when trading opened," Boettcher said. "It was a very good learning experience. I hope to trade natural gas or petroleum products here in Houston when I graduate, so this competition was very valuable to me."

"This kind of experience is valuable for the real-life experience the students get," Scott Hess, a member of the NYMEX Board of Directors, said. "The actual feeling a person gets is the benefit. It's something that you can't get from a book or a lecture. This event today was very successful. The students' enthusiasm was overwhelming."

The event was sponsored by the Center for Executive Development, NYMEX, Amerex Energy, Cinergy Corp., Carr Futures, PA Consulting Group, AGL Resources and UH alumnus Gerald Balboa.

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