Greg Demarque | Executive

PCH: An explainer

The housing loans that commercial banks offer with the support of the Public Corporation for Housing (PCH), colloquially known as Iskan loans or PCH loans, are engineered according to a smart financing formula that is advantageous for borrowers but nothing short of complicated. When a first time home buyer with Lebanese nationality and residency has

Greg Demarque | Executive

A place all their own

So that every family may own a home. This, according to the chair-director general of Lebanon’s Public Corporation for Housing (PCH), Rony Lahoud, is the overarching idea under which the understaffed government agency pursues its mission of examining an endless stream of loan applications from Lebanese citizens. “It is hard work, but it’s amazing at

Greg Demarque | Executive

Striking a balance

“This law is a step aimed at achieving justice, and after 30 years without a law this step has become necessary and inevitable,” said MP Robert Ghanem, chair of the Parliament’s Administration and Justice Committee, according to the minutes of April’s rent law meeting. The committee had met to amend the law after the Constitutional

Greg Demarque | Executive

Save your reputation

Last summer, landowners erected a barrier separating Dalieh, along Beirut’s western coast, from the city and its inhabitants. It set off a tsunami of public criticism, protest and activist organizing — likely not the owners’ intent. But just as those who erected the barrier were clearly misguided — this beast of barbed wire, chainlink fencing

The ISF stormed Dalieh in the early hours of May 2 with bulldozers and 150 officers (Greg Demarque | Executive)

Tales from the sea

This article is part of an ongoing investigation on Beirut’s coast, from Raouche to Ramlet al-Baida. You can find the other articles here. *** It was 5 a.m. on Saturday May 2 when around 150 police officers descended on Dalieh. “I was there when they came,” Mohammad Itani tells Executive, speaking from outside the pile

Greg Demarque | Executive

Mismatch made in the heavens

As cities go, Beirut has every reason to be regarded as the grand dame of regional urbanity — a proud dowager that stands out among Arab metropolises as queen of style and savoir vivre. But she is filling out like a high school senior, especially around the upper floors of the priciest residential towers. Those

Greg Demarque | Executive

Walking towards the light

Instead of hoping for good political news in Lebanon today, property hunters should just trust their fortunes. The country is much more stable than it looks, and smart money has every chance to find good real estate buys. At the same time, there are few bright spots for sellers. The uncertainty in the upper end

(Moyan Brenn | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0)

A hellish limbo, a darker future

There’s nothing like entrepreneurial energy — if it’s there, you feel it as soon as you walk in the room. That’s what I felt when I recently addressed the Start Up Lebanon conference in New York. The room was buzzing with creative talent — our talent — ready to storm the American startup scene. Why were

Greg Demarque | Executive

SkyBar on fire

In the early morning hours of Thursday, May 28, the famed rooftop club SkyBar was hit by a fire that destroyed three quarters of the venue and caused severe material damage, according to its general manager Paul Aoun. “While it is too soon to assess the exact amount of the damage, we estimate it to


Sporting design

Stadiums, like other large public meeting areas, do not exist separate from their surroundings. They form an integral part of the landscape, influencing not just the look and feel of an area, but also how individuals interact with it. Executive looks at two stadiums — both past their prime — that display contrasting approaches to the use

The electricity sector faces problems in numerous areas |Greg Demarque|

Uncrossing wires

Lebanon’s electricity sector faces severe difficulties on multiple levels, making it an unsustainable burden on the economy in general and the state budget in particular. Problems extend across all stages of the business process, from production to distribution, even billing and collection, despite the latter having been franchised out to private companies. Promising proposals — including

Greg Demarque | Executive

Familiar faces

A street is more than just well known physical landmarks. It is more than buildings and favorite outlets. A street is also made up of familiar faces: people you say hello to or nod to on a daily basis. Such faces become part of the urban fabric and in turn, they come to know the

Greg Demarque | Executive

Surviving a slow market

Without a radical improvement in the political and security climates, Lebanon’s real estate market is unlikely to pick up. The market thus continues to stagnate as the economic, political and security situations continue to deteriorate. The picture may look gloomy, but it is not desperate. Demand may have slowed but it exists, with professional developers

Greg Demarque | Executive

2014: Deep analysis

Any analysis of Lebanese banking performance in terms of activity has to be read in conjunction with the operating environment in the region and the recent expansion of Lebanese banks in regional markets. Real GDP growth, as estimated by the IMF, stood at 2.4 percent for the MENA region in 2014, while Lebanon registered 2.0