Nuts for nuts

This article is part of an Executive special report on Lebanese industry. Read more stories as they’re published here, or pick up October’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon. Lebanon’s leading nuts producer Al Rifai last July moved into a brand new $25 million facility near Byblos. “We used to have three separate production facilities in

Industry Figures

Figuring figures

This article is part of an Executive special report on Lebanese industry. Read more stories as they’re published here, or pick up October’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon. What’s the Lebanese industrial sector worth? That’s the million dollar question,” says Cristiano Pasini, representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Beirut. In collaboration with Lebanon’s Ministry

Demco 1

Manufacturing survival

This is the overview of an Executive special report on industry. The rest of the report will be published here over the coming days. By any measure, Lebanese industry is doing abysmally. In the first six months of 2014, industrial exports declined by 29.3 percent year on year, whereas the corresponding period in 2013 had witnessed

John Dagher, Lebanon CEO, and Janwillem Acket, the group’s chief economist

Acket on economics

Janwillem Acket is “the longest serving guy in the Zürich banking place” in his role as chief economist of Julius Bär, a Swiss private bank that has expanded its profile in emerging markets, including Lebanon, with the acquisition of Merrill Lynch’s international wealth management operations in 2012. He sat with Executive for a wide ranging

So, the Labyrinth is a piece of cake, is it?

Making sense of the macro

For an extended interview with Janwillem Acket, read this.   To say that playing the global economy makes for a tricky game may be the world’s biggest understatement in the best of times. These days, however, the vagaries on the monetary and financial fronts extend far beyond the normal chaos that supplies the chat fodder


Unique challenges

Executive sat down with Kelvin Tay, Swiss banking stalwart UBS’ managing director and chief investment officer for the Southern Asia and Pacific region, during his first visit to Lebanon. While he notes his enthusiasm concerning the growth of the Asian market, he expresses concerns regarding the MENA region’s attractiveness for investment. For more on UBS

UBS Bern branch (Martin Abegglen | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0)

A tougher game

It is no secret that the management of other people’s money — especially of very rich people’s money — can make you a living, yet it is fraught with hazards. Swiss banks are, and have long been, the epitome of wealth management in service to high net-worth customers. But as Executive noted in our latest

Gilbert Ghostine

A credo of success

Beirut native Gilbert Ghostine is a top manager on the move. After 21 years in a career with drinks company Diageo — known for its top selling brands such as Johnny Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness — he is transitioning into his new role as chief executive of Firmenich, a Swiss manufacturer of flavors and fragrances

Ward El Sham in Verdun

Bringing Damascus to Beirut

For the past two years, more restaurants highlighting Syrian culture, both in their cuisine and interior decor, have been popping up in Beirut, mainly in Verdun and Hamra.  Some of these restaurants, such as Sit El Sham in Verdun, are owned by Syrians while others are owned by Lebanese but play up the Syrian concept.

Columbia Business School, where higher education and higher profits meet (Billy Hathorn | Wikipedia | CC BY-SA 3.0)

Raising capital, the human kind

Managing a top flight business school program in Beirut is like enjoying Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. It’s a life full of surprises where many — but not all — are happy ones. The latest proof in the pudding was the American University of Beirut’s intake of Executive MBA (EMBA) students exactly a year ago.

The hottest spot in Beirut

The sideways stumble

The MENA’s benchmark indices kept a steady direction in the 37th week of the year, generally continuing the trend of the previous week. The region’s largest market, Riyadh’s Tadawul, continued to move sideways at an elevated level reached by a six week rally between July 21 and the start of September. The bourses of Oman,

Sakker El Dekkene

Calling out corruption

In late July, Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) quietly issued a statement calling on citizens to report violations of fraud, nepotism and corruption by security force personnel, as part of its attempt to stop illicit activity by officers from within its own ranks. The complaint system is part of an overall effort to build community


Laying the foundation

It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Take Lebanon’s banking sector: with assets of nearly 400 percent of GDP, it is both the backbone of the economy and the preferred financier of state debt. But unfortunately, it also may be holding the rest of the country’s financial sector back by smothering

MAP derisking2

A strategy on hold

The uncertainty surrounding Lebanon’s first offshore licensing round is complicating the Lebanese Petroleum Administration’s (LPA) efforts to answer questions as to what potential subsea hydrocarbons the country has. While all of Lebanon’s offshore has been spanned by 2-dimensional seismic surveying and 70 percent has been covered by 3-dimensional seismic, the LPA wants to collect even

Money magnet

Money magnets

This article is part of an Executive special report on wealth management and private banking. Read more stories published here, or pick up September’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon.   “Get on a plane from Middle Eastern Airlines (MEA) from Geneva to Beirut, and see how many bankers you have on that plane going and

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