Lebanese banks comply with US Hezbollah Act

The introduction to this interview has been updated in response to the June 12 bombing of the Blom Bank headquarter branch in the Verdun district of Beirut. The original introduction began by noting the ire of Hezbollah party leaders in their reaction to the central bank’s early May decision (circular 137) ordering local banks to

Central bank Governor Riad Salameh (Photo credit: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Updates on Lebanon’s banking sector

Executive sat with the governor of Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, Riad Salameh, for updates on the banking sector, the results of the central bank’s monetary policy, the stimulus of the knowledge economy – known as Circular 331 – and the response to latest foreign initiatives, namely compliance with the United States’ Hezbollah

Illustration by Ivan Debs

Compelled to comply

“Should I be worried?” wondered one Beirut Souks restaurant owner. During a lunch at the local establishment the restaurateur passed by the table to inquire about the meal and service, casually mentioning concern over an American law – one targeting Hezbollah’s alleged money laundering through financial institutions worldwide. Local business owners outside the banking industry

ILO organized a children's funfair on World Day against Child Labour in Lebanon's Bekaa valley, to raise awareness about the hazards of child labor in agriculture (Photo credit: ILO/Tabitha Ross)

Child labor in agriculture on the rise in Lebanon

The sun is rising over the Anti-Lebanon mountain range that borders Syria. Kowsa Ibrahim, a 12 year old refugee from Aleppo, is already at work pruning grape vines. She will work for the next several hours for 6,000 Lebanese Lira ($4), although she will not get that amount; an overseer, known as a “shawish,” will

‘Bil Nesbeh la Bukra Chou? ‘ makes a big comeback on the silver screen

No stone unturned

When M Media’s Chairman Eli Khoury described the recent success of Bil Nesbeh La Bokra Chou? (What About Tomorrow?) as “phenomenal”, he was right, from the perspective of the Lebanese market. With gross ticket sales of more than $1.3 million in local theaters, according to online reporting service Box Office Mojo, it is the highest

The Lebanese Pavilion has been part of the Cannes Film Festival since 2005

Yes we Cannes

In mid-May there was a temporary mass migration to the south of France as film professionals around the globe rushed to attend one of the year’s most prestigious international film festivals. When Executive spoke with a number of Lebanese film industry stakeholders last month, the excitement in the air was palpable. But it wasn’t the

Lebanese actor Alain Saadeh in the hit movie 'Film Kteer Kbeer' (Very Big Shot)

Get your house in order

Alain Saadeh, the lead actor in Film Kteer Kbeer (Very Big Shot), shocked audiences at a domestic awards show on May 28 when he refused the Murex d’Or award. Speaking on behalf of the director and production crew of his film, Saadeh pronounced the Lebanese award show, which recognizes regional players in a variety of

Illustration by Ivan Debs

Back to banking for the future

Lebanon without banks. That is far more difficult to envision than Mount Sannine without snow or the coast line without illegal buildings and the hills without litter. Asking some Lebanese economists if they can imagine the country without banks is like asking a king salmon if it can live without water. “It is true that

Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon's central bank

An ode to strength

Last month Lebanon celebrated, on May 25, our liberation and resistance national holiday for the 16th time. The region also marks 100 years of the Sykes-Picot Agreement’s adoption on May 16, which was signed in secret by colonial powers to delineate areas of power in the Near East. We commemorate too that 10 years ago

Illustration by Ivan Debs

In need of a new national economic strategy

Our economy is seriously underperforming. While this isn’t a surprise, it still bothers me every single day. I love our banks, but they are only part of the equation for real economic success. We need functioning capital markets, and we needed them yesterday. I love our central bank, but it simply cannot continue being the

The proportion of Syrian refugees who are food secure has fallen from 32 percent in 2013 to 11 percent in 2015. In this photo, taken in 2014, Ahmed, 15, from Raqqa starts a generator to provide electricity for his family's tent in an encampment for refugees in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Lack of power makes it impossible to keep food in such circumstances. European Commission | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

The fear of an empty plate

There is an old Lebanese saying for reassurance in troubled times. For years, comparatively well-off people have told others, especially children, that ‘ma fi hadan bimout min el jou’’ (no one dies of hunger) when they complain excessively. While that may be true for some, five years of a refugee crisis coupled with long-standing structural

Photo credit: Greg Demarque | Executive

A national oil company for Lebanon?

It’s been three years since the nascent oil and gas sector in Lebanon was brought to a complete halt. The relative success of the pre-qualification round in 2013 brought the sector to center stage and contributed to the hype surrounding it. But the pre-qualification round was not followed by a tendering process. Instead, this was

Photo credit: Greg Demarque | Executive

Strategies to survive the real estate sales slump

The disruption was illuminating. When the knock first came, Georges Chehwane tried not to interrupt his interview with Executive. The matter, however, demanded the chairman of Plus Holding’s attention. A client wanted to buy an apartment in a building Plus Properties is promoting, but needed flexibility in payment scheduling. It wasn’t long before Chehwane was

Photo by Greg Demarque | Executive

Diplomatically speaking

E  In 2015, Germany experienced a sudden unexpected influx of migrants and refugees in large part due to the Syrian crisis and its effect on host countries, including Lebanon. As Germany has been trying to deal with the large number of people coming in, what will the political impact be and what are the current