Health kick

As parents, we often struggle to keep our children fit and healthy in the consumer society we live in. We do our best to feed them nutritious meals and educate them on the importance of healthy eating habits, yet temptations are everywhere and frequently make a mockery of our best efforts. From TV campaigns and

October 2016 table of contents

EDITORIAL Time to fight back LEADERS Making green affordable Health kick COVER STORY Meet the megas ECONOMICS & POLICY It’s not easy being green Selling a national oil company Preserving the heart of Mar Mikhael BANKING & FINANCE The twisted tale of the Lebanese Canadian Bank Rocky relations Negative interest rates The Gulf after oil

ABC Achrafieh has installed the largest private photovoltaic plant in Lebanon on its rooftop.

Making green affordable

Lebanon’s real estate sector is going green, with more than a little help from a powerful friend, Banque du Liban (BDL), the country’s central bank. Since BDL made subsidized loans for energy efficient projects available in 2010, developers have been making use of them, building to various international standards. Building green increases construction costs, which

Photo credit: Greg Demarque

When chips meet innovation

The Lebanese potato chips market is dominated by two main local producers. But small scale productions – such as the chips produced by supermarkets Dfouni or Goodies – have always had their loyal consumers who say they prefer the artisanal homemade taste of these chips to the mass produced ones. Recently, two reputable food establishments

Master are hoping to change snacking habits, away from nuts and towards potato chips (Photo credit: Greg Demarque)

The spud kings

Potatoes are a staple of Lebanese cuisine. When boiled, they are often eaten as a remedy for stomach ache. When fried, they serve as a quick and cheap meal as the filling of a sandwich or as an accompaniment to the traditional Sunday barbeque lunch. About 20 years ago, serious contenders in locally produced potato


The twisted tale of the Lebanese Canadian Bank

You thought it was over, didn’t you? Assuming you remember the rise and demise of Lebanese Canadian Bank, from its ascendance in the 1990s until it was struck by US allegations of terrorism finance and money laundering (for Hezbollah) in 2011. Executive trusts that you also know of the subsequent investigations and negotiations. They resulted

Illustration by: Ivan Debs

It’s not easy being green

While the climate change agreement at Kyoto took nearly a decade to achieve binding status for ratifying countries, l’Accord de Paris (nearly) accomplished this feat in a mere 10 months. As Executive goes to print, 61 countries have adopted the Paris Agreement, covering some 48 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as the one-year

Illustration by Ivan Debs

Time to fight back

It really bothers me when people say things they don’t actually understand. “The economy is dead.” I’ve heard it over and over the past few years. Growth is low, fine, but it’s not completely absent. Let’s remember Economics 101. If a manaoushe shop sells 1,000 manaeesh in September and then sells 1,020 in October, that’s

Illustration by Ivan Debs

Meet the megas

The confidence many developers have in the Lebanese real estate market is certainly not inspired by the numbers. On paper 2015 and 2016 look like the two worst years since 2007, yet this year and last have seen the launch of a handful of large-scale residential projects – one of which is the largest development

Bank Audi

“To move or not to move?”

This spring there was considerable commotion in Lebanese economic and financial circles as rumors surfaced that the country’s largest bank was engaged in scenario exercises about moving its corporate head office to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The question of the advantages and disadvantages of such a significant relocation decision motivated Philip Karam,

All the major wineries are using both traditional and non-traditional forms of marketing (Photo: Greg Demarque)

Of competition and promotion

There are arguably few things more enjoyable than sipping on a good glass of wine after a long day. Selecting a brand of wine for that pleasure is not as simple as it seems though: from the quality to the appearance and the image that a specific wine invokes in your mind as a consumer,


Keeping it small

There’s a popular joke in the wine industry which goes: “Do you know how to make a million dollars out of a small winery? Start out with five million!” The joke illustrates why owning a small winery is perceived more as an expensive hobby or an act of passion than a money making venture. At

Deir El Ahmar is slowly but surely changing its reputation from a marijuana growing village to a winemaking one (Photo by Greg Demarque)

Grapes of change

Deir El Ahmar, a Christian village in the northern Bekaa valley’s Hermel-Baalbek region, is more notorious for its marijuana plantations than it is for great wines. But winemaking is precisely what the Coteaux d’Heliopolis Cooperative now wants their village to become known for. The birth of the Cooperative Having never really felt the government’s support


Confined to misery

Executive visited ZaZoo City in Hazmieh disguised as tourists in order to collect photographic evidence of the conditions of the animals held captive there. What we found was appaling: ducks lying in a waterless pool, a tiger trapped in a shade-less cage and a fox asleep next to litter and a pile of its own

Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive

Trash and the towns

Lebanon’s garbage crisis predates independence. Case in point, the country’s first sanitary landfill was built in the 1990s even though the technology emerged around the 1920s. Despite repeated policy failures by successive governments, however, the situation could be turning around. Their own devices By law, municipalities in Lebanon have the authority to handle their own