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World experts on risk management of commodities and food prices gather at Birkbeck

World experts will gather to discuss ‘Modelling and Managing the Risks of Commodities and...


On Friday 20 January 2012, world experts on commodities markets will gather at a conference, organised by Birkbeck, to discuss ‘Modelling and Managing the Risks of Commodities and Food Prices in a Changing World’.

At the start of 2012, the conference will offer some answers to the pressing issues of managing commodities markets and food prices, given the uncertainties of the year ahead and will bring together experts from academia, politics and the business world.

The conference will look at topics including: underlying trends and cycles in oil and gas markets; metals price dynamics in a period of crisis; managing shipping risk in the global supply chain and the challenges in managing food price risks and natural resources scarcity.

Professor Hélyette Geman, Director of Birkbeck’s Commodity Finance Centre, and scientific advisor to the European Commission, said: “Despite the world economic slowdown, oil prices continue to be over 100 dollars a barrel, metal prices are such that the value of scrap metals inspires unfortunate theft. There is currently some respite in the socially and politically important food prices. How long will it be before they spike again, and how high will they go?"

Dr Andreas Liefooghe, Assistant Dean of the School of BEI, said: “The School of Business, Economics and Informatics is yet again providing a platform for internationally leading academics and industrialists to discuss the pertinent issues of the day.  I am delighted that Professor Hélyette Geman, the undisputed world expert on commodities, is facilitating this event at the Birkbeck Centre for Finance and Commodities.”

Birkbeck is the first European university to offer a MSc Finance and Commodities, convened by Professor Hélyette Geman. In addition to the core modules, the programme offers trading room simulations, through which students gain hands-on experience in stock broking, and courses in programming, which prepare students for jobs with a quantitative profile.

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