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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

Uruguay Street: The cluster concept is born

Strength in numbers

By the end of 2016, Lebanon will have eight new hospitality venue clusters. These are large spaces with many outlets rented out to different tenants by the projects’ developers, who own and manage the entire space. This seemingly sudden surge in such projects raises some questions concerning the reasons behind their boom, how they work,

Dubai mall fountain sculpture

Malls and mobiles

Arab markets made a well behaved transition into September. Benchmark indices at all regionally relevant exchanges moved as one might expect top local influencers want them to in the 36th week of the year. Saudi Arabia’s TASI went sideways just after some analysts started to warn of potentials for overheating. The Egyptian and Qatari benchmarks

Wealth inequality in Lebanon is one of the highest in the world

Wealth in Lebanon

This article is part of an Executive special report on wealth management and private banking. Read more stories as they’re published here, or pick up September’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon. The numbers are clear. There is something deeply wrong with Lebanese capitalism. Yes, there is considerable wealth that is readily visible to all as

The glamorous world of wealth management

Don’t ask for too much

This article is part of an Executive special report on wealth management and private banking. Read more stories as they’re published here, or pick up September’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon.   Banque Libano-Française, a Lebanese alpha group bank whose assets stood at $11 billion at the end of June 2014, does not operate a

Diemers - Female segment

Growing more detailed

This article is part of an Executive special report on wealth management and private banking. Read more stories as they’re published here, or pick up September’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon. The GCC continues to be a standout region for wealth creation. Investable and liquid assets grew by 15 to 20 percent each year from

Turtle

Lebanon’s competitiveness: Bottoming out

Lebanon is not in bad company for a peer group. According to the just published World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), we are among those countries that are — and in many cases have been for quite a while — transitioning from a medium stage of development where efficiency gains drive improvements in competitiveness to an

More sand, less water

Heads in the sand

The frustration and humiliation are just too much. Daily trips to the roof to check water levels, often followed by a round of phone calls begging private water delivery drivers to spare 1,000 liters, have been the norm for months now for many Lebanese. That we must pay twice for a basic service the state

Roula Habis, managing partner at Optimum Invest

Feeling our presence

This article is part of an Executive special report on wealth management and private banking. Read more stories as they’re published here, or pick up September’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon.   Roula Habis is a new managing partner at Optimum Invest, a Beirut based financial company. Formerly the general manager of Middle East Capital

If the CMA is successful, the BSE's halls may be buzzing

On topic: Lebanon’s capital markets

This article is part of an Executive special report on wealth management and private banking. Read more stories as they’re published here, or pick up September’s issue at newsstands in Lebanon. With the lack of active capital markets, banks have as of yet provided the largest source of outside financing to private companies, resulting largely

Credit Agricole

The international edge

This is the first installment of an Executive special report on wealth management and private banking. The rest of the report will be published here over the coming week. It should not be surprising that combinations of Swiss and Lebanese virtues have a lot of potential for profitable relationships, including some that are taciturn to the

Just enough dirt to bury your head

Hope is not a plan

They say ignorance is bliss, so let’s indulge. Let’s ignore that global temperatures are rising — albeit at a slower pace since 1999. Let’s ignore that springtime snow cover in the northern hemisphere has dropped 2 percent per decade since 1996. Let’s also ignore the possibility that an El Niño event this winter could make

Looking for winners

A late summer swelter

Arab markets trended up or flat with positive bias at a rate of three to one in the 35th week of the year. Indices were intonating pretty much the same melody of small to moderate gains as in the previous week, but with a swelling in some turnovers in the last trading sessions of August.

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